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22 February, 2017 - 12:39 By Jamie Quested

Morrisons in call to arms to East Anglia foodmakers

Morrisons supermarket

Supermarket chain Morrisons is inviting food and drink producers from East Anglia to pitch for a presence on its shelves.

The supermarket already stocks some of the foods and beverages East Anglia is famous for, like Cromer Crab and Old Speckled Hen, and now wants to unearth more of the region’s hidden gems. 

Throughout 2017, The Nation’s Local Foodmakers programme will see Morrisons buyers tour the UK in search of the best local suppliers.

Gregor Mcintosh, Morrisons regional manager for East Anglia said: “Our customers tell us they want to see even more food that is made in the region and that’s why we’re asking the best suppliers to get in touch.” 

The launch of the initiative coincides with a report by leading expert on global food issues, Professor Tim Benton from the University of Leeds. The report says it makes sense for the UK to be more self-sufficient in food production and build up a stronger local food sector in the face of global uncertainties.

Professor Benton calls on British retailers to boost local UK food making and production to support local food makers which will reduce food miles and support local businesses and countryside.

One East Anglian business that has already proved a hit with Morrisons’ customers is Jonas Seafoods in Norfolk. 

Kevin Jonas launched the crab fishing and processing business in 1995 from a food storage unit on his own property near Cromer. Now the company delivers products to more than 400 Morrisons stores nationwide, and also supplies crab meat as an ingredient for Morrisons’ branded ready meals.

Jonas said: “Being stocked by Morrisons has had a huge effect on our business. The contract has increased the turnover of my business by nearly 60 per cent. We now employ over 60 staff and have an annual turnover of £2.5 million. In 2017 we plan to increase this by supplying 1,700 dressed crabs on a daily basis.”

In their bid to land the next ‘Jonas Seafood’, Morrisons buyers will invite the best local suppliers to showcase their products at an event in Norfolk in April. Successful suppliers will then have the opportunity to be listed in Morrisons stores. 

For further information about the programme, entry requirements and terms or to apply, visit www.morrisons.com/local

The closing date for applications for the Norfolk event is Friday March 10.

Kiss Communications

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