Farmers blast Morrisons over sourcing for tertiary meat brand

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Morrisons has been lambasted by farmers for bringing in a tertiary meat brand under which it will sell imported meat.

Currently, Morrisons gets huge PR value out of sourcing 100% British across its Morrisons-branded beef, pork, poultry and lamb.

However, on Monday, Morrisons launched tertiary meat brand Hemsley’s. Meat sold under the brand “may” be British but if there were opportunities to provide “value for money for customers we may purchase from overseas,” it said.

The NFU said it understood the difficulties faced in a competitive market where consumers were demanding a variety of price levels to suit their needs, but claimed that importing meat came at the cost of animal welfare standards. “Morrisons has always been a keen supporter of British farming and we want this to continue. We hope this is a short-term move that Morrisons will review and reverse at the earliest opportunity,” added a spokesman.

Morrisons defended its move, claiming it would still sell a higher percentage of British meat than any other major British supermarket. “In these tough economic times we have to offer customers the choice of cheaper alternatives but we can be clear that our commitment to British farmers is more significant than any other retailer,” said an NFU spokesman.

Morrisons’ decision is the second hugely controversial move it has made this year in its meat supply chain. From March, it started allowing its poultry farmers to feed their chickens GM feed, after the price of non-GM feed had soared. That move, was, however, welcomed by farmers.

All Morrisons-branded pre-packed fresh meat and that sold on its butcher’s counters would continue to be British, it said.

Readers' comments (9)

  • I always but Morrisons meat because you can taste the notable difference in quality from the other supermarkets and because I know it's British. The meat is the one thing that brings me into the store and sets them apart from the others, but if that goes, I'll end up stopping my shop there. Too bad

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  • THis is the first time I've ever searched for info about a brand, and it's hemsley's... I was literally freaked out by the colour and the first bite of sirloin steak...

    It's weird, but it feels empty, the texture is just bizarre and the majority of the flavours I can taste are from the seasoning... I'll never buy this again, irrespective of the price, how can they start feeding their chickens GM food also? WE DO NOT WANT GM CROPS IN OUR FOOD SUPPLY!!!

    And obviously customers want cheaper meat, customers want cheaper everything... but everywhere else is going up so why are you complaining, I'm sure sales aren't down...

    You wanna get real and stick to healthy food, we're all aware what the FDA are responsible of and we want no part of it, they can peddle that shit wherever they want, but not here...

    I shall now begin my anti-chicken campaign in the UK about your chicken... Muppets...

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  • I use morrisons because they know where the meat comes from foreign purchase meat products would drive me to another store or the local butcher

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  • Morrisons is definitely going down the wrong road with this! Buy British!!!! Support British farmers! Knowing where food comes from is essential and is why morrisons could thrash the backside of the other large chains! Customers are totally sceptical at the moment due to the horse meat scandal ! Seize the opportunity-don't follow suit!

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  • Having been a keen supporter of Morrison' UK meat policy I am surprised that they now consider using imported meat products.I have read that meat products do often not meet the standards that Morrison' publicity so proudly boasts. This a direct Quote from a delivery driver, as Stated they have their own farms and abattoirs why is there a problem? all these factors lead me to wonder if any of our supermarkets can be trusted. Thank goodness we have in Banbury an independent butcher where you can see that meat is meat. Where do you think we might buy our meat next week?

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  • I have supported Morrisons and boasted and advertised about their meat but I will stop if they buy this rubbish from abroad...how can we be sure it never gets mixed up its too close for my comfort...back to the local butcher...sorry Morrisons and I will use my local bakers on the way oh and the green grocer too...in fact if my village regenerates I will stay here...what goes around comes around again could be what we need to revive all the local village shops again well if our bus passes are taken from us whats the point.

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  • The only reason I shop at Morrisons is because I believed they were sourcing their meat products from British farms. Animal welfare and quality of produce is more important to me than pricing. I would stop using Morrisons in a minute if I thought meat was being imported from other countries.

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  • I went to M's the other week for the first time, attract by the statement that all their meat was British and idetifiable.

    And now it isn't ?

    Oh Dear

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  • I lived in the Scottish Borders for six years and often brought my meat from Morrisons, as it was guaranteed to be from Scotland. The Aberdeen Angus was top notch and far cheaper than local butchers, which is such a shame. Now I have moved back to London, there is hardly any Scottish meat in Morrisons, and what there is, is twice the price, obviously due to delivery charges. When you buy UK meat, you expect UK meat. I have purchased one of the Hemsleys legs of lamb today, if I find it inedible, tough or strange tasting, I will be straight back to Morrisons and put in a complaint. It has UK stamped on the outside, so UK it should be.

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