Morrisons is to reopen its fresh meat and fish counters as barbecue seafood and steak bars selling food originally destined for the restaurant trade.
The retailer closed most of its meat and fish counters at the start of the coronavirus crisis, while also slashing a third of its food range. But it will reopen them next Thursday (30 April) in the “vast majority of stores” in a bid to support “struggling British farmers and fishermen” and offer shoppers a wider selection of steaks, joints and seafood.
Morrisons said the counters would sell a variety of British seafood including plaice and hake, mackerel and sardines, herring and king scallop meat. The steak counters will offer cut-to-order steaks, joints and summer barbecue products.
The move follows a slump in demand for some meat cuts and fish species since the start of the coronavirus lockdown due to the effective closure of the foodservice and hospitality sectors.
“Meat and fish producers have been unable to sell certain products – including high quality steaks, joints, whole fish and shellfish – that might have been destined for the restaurant trade,” Morrisons said.
The retailer is also offering a 5% discount on shopping for its farmers “to thank them for feeding the nation through the Covid-19 pandemic”. The 5% discount will be offered to Morrisons’ 2,700 farmers when they buy their own groceries.
Farmers started receiving discount cards in the post giving them the 5% discount from 23 April. The discount will last until 12 July, when the policy will be reviewed.
Eligible farmers include livestock suppliers supplying lamb, beef and pork into Morrisons; egg farmers supplying Morrisons directly; dairy farmers with a Morrisons contract and fruit & veg growers supplying Morrisons directly.
“This is a difficult time for the nation and it’s a very difficult time for farmers and fishermen,” said Morrisons CEO David Potts.
“We’re the biggest supermarket customer for British farmers and they continue to provide very good quality British food in the face of very real challenges. We want to show our thanks for all their work in feeding the nation and encourage our customers to buy British food.”