Farming News - Union disappointment at Morrisons’ poultry meat decision
Union disappointment at Morrisons’ poultry meat decision
Supermarket chain Morrisons has announced it will end its policy of stocking 100 per cent fresh British poultry meat. The supermarket will begin importing poultry meat from other European states for sale under its exclusive tertiary brand Hemseley’s.
The NFU has criticised the supermarket, suggesting it will not hold suppliers elsewhere in Europe to the same welfare standards required of its British suppliers. The union’s poultry board chairman Duncan Priestner said on Thursday, “We understand the difficulties retailers are faced with in a competitive market where consumers are demanding a variety of price levels to suit their needs, but unfortunately that comes at the cost of animal welfare standards and British poultry meat.”
“It is extremely disappointing that Morrisons has made this decision. It means fresh British chicken will be now be displaced by cheaper produce from EU countries that will not have to meet the same welfare standards and it is a blow for the industry.”
In September Morrisons, one of the UK’s ‘big four’ supermarkets with a combined share of over 70 percent of the UK grocery market, was stripped of an animal welfare award by charity Compassion in World Farming over its decision to renege on a welfare pledge and reintroduce eggs from caged hens.