Photo courtesy of Morrisons

Select UK potato, carrot growers get 100% backing on costs from Morrisons

Produce Business report

By the end of the year, some of the potatoes and carrots that appear in Morrisons supermarkets will be from farms being supported financially by … Morrisons.

The generous initiative, in which the retailer is underwriting 100% of costs for growing those vegetables, is part of a trial that will stretch into 2024. Growers have been hit hard over the past three years by a pandemic, supply chain issues, weather ups-and-downs, labour shortages and of course, soaring operating costs.

So, supermarkets like Morrisons are stepping up and offering various means of assistance.

“As British farming’s biggest direct customer we understand the impact that higher costs are continuing to have on farmers,” Gareth Cosford, Senior Buying Manager for Root Vegetables at Morrisons, says. “Our trial scheme allows us to take all the risk associated with growing the crop away from our farmers and continue to grow the best quality British produce that our customers know and love.” 

The trial will support three potato farms and one carrot farm. Among them is Naish Farms, which specifically grows tubers for the retail giant. A key part of the agreement and their relationship is that Morrisons doesn’t mind taking on wonky produce. That helps cut down on waste and ensures that entire crops go to market.  

“Morrisons already buy our whole crop of potatoes from us, taking the top-quality and also misshapen or oversized ones and making them available to customers to maximise our return and offering the best value to their customers,” Andrew Nash, Director at Naish Farms Ltd., says.

“In farming there are ups and downs throughout the season. For us we are seeing greater weather challenges which may impact our crops and by being part of this new Morrisons trial. They’re underwriting our growing costs to cushion us from the associated risks and provide supply security so that we can focus on growing the very best potatoes for their customers.”

Morrisons says the trial may be expanded depending on the success of the program. In addition to working closely with 2,700 farmers, it also supports the Farm 24 event, which highlights local producers.  farming’s biggest event which highlights the pride of the nation’s food producers. More on the event can be found here.



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