Blog: Morrisons raises the bar on fresh food manufacturing
Michelle Russell | 15 March 2012
Morrisons' chief executive Dalton Philips has this week outlined plans for the group to become the UK's largest fresh food manufacturer.
Speaking at the retailer's Second Farming Conference yesterday (14 March), Philips announced plans to invest GBP21m in its livestock supply business, in addition to significant investment in the retailer's fruit, vegetable and salad packing operation, adding to recent investments in seafood and meat processing.
The GBP21m investment will increase the company's capacity at its abattoir in Colne, Lancashire. Morrisons will also complete a GBP200m investment in the expansion of its manufacturing food arm by 2013, meaning it will buy more fresh food directly from farmers than its rivals, it claims.
"If market conditions continue, we will become the UK's largest manufacturer of fresh food by 2015," Philips said. "This investment sets us apart from other retailers and means that we will be the biggest customer for UK farms."
By making more of its fresh products, Morrisons said it can "control quality, cut out middlemen and deal directly" with farmers.
Vion, whose operations are concentrated mainly in the meat sector, is currently the UK's largest manufacturer of fresh food, with Morrisons the second largest.
The announcement comes as competition in the UK's fresh food space is stepping up. Larger rival Tesco recently announced that it will be investing heavily to improve its fresh offering. Nevertheless, Morrisons distinctive farm-to-fork approach leaves it well-positioned to take on the challenge.
To follow on from our earlier notice and after some hard work from our technical team, just-food is back live after today's power outage....
Much of the UK has felt the impact of Storm Doris today - and just-food's head office has been no exception....
A year after union officials alleged Fyffes abused workers on plantations in Central America - and called on the produce giant to be kicked out of the Ethical Trading Initiative forum - the company is...
Much of the chatter about where 3G Capital could look next has centred on packaged food - but might the private-equity fund be about to extend its foodservice empire?...
- US food next wave on display at Winter Fancy Food
- Does Kraft Heinz want to swallow Unilever whole?
- How General Mills plans to grow - CAGNY
- Comment: Meal kits in US - don't believe the hype
- Focus: Nestle CEO plan to balance sales, earnings
- Unilever launches operational review
- Kraft Heinz pulls Unilever bid
- Kerry operating earnings strengthen on slow sales
- Glanbia focuses on nutrition with Irish dairy spin
- Kerry's Scanlon to replace McCarthy as CEO