Search is on for Scotland’s food and drink suppliers

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Morrisons is launching a search for Scotland’s best food and drink producers and is inviting suppliers from across the country to pitch for a place on its shelves.

The search means that Scottish customers will be able to buy more food from Morrisons that was grown or made in Scotland.

The supermarket already stocks lots of the foods Scotland is famous for and introduced 150 new Scottish lines last year including Mrs Tilly’s Tablet, Fudge and Macaroon. Morrisons also sells speciality Scottish cheeses and last year alone introduced 30 new Scottish beers from 13 different breweries including Cairngorm Brewery and St Andrew’s Brewing co.

So, this search is about going one step further and uncovering those hidden Scottish gems that will offer Morrisons’ customers more food and drink that meets their local tastes as well as products that were grown or made ‘just down the road’ from their communities.

Angus Bell, Morrisons Local Solutions Manager for Scotland says: “Our customers tell us they want to see even more food and drink that is made in Scotland and that’s why we’re asking more of the best local Scottish suppliers to get in touch.”

As well as listing suppliers that Scottish customers will love, Morrisons’ new programme could go even further and identify suppliers whose food and drink is already recognised and enjoyed by local customers but not yet recognised nationally.

Scottish business owner Dr James Davies knows first hand what an opportunity gaining a listing in Morrisons can be. His brewery, Alchemy Brewery, entered 50 Morrisons stores after he presented a number of beers to Morrisons last year.

James said: “When the opportunity arose with Morrisons we were keen to get involved. It’s great to see them taking an interest in locally produced goods. It’s not just about the sizable orders placed by Morrisons, it’s the fact that it gives us access to a whole new market. We have had enquiries from people who’ve bought the beer from Morrisons, who then want to try more of our range which is very exciting for us.”

In their search for the next ‘Alchemy Brewery’, Morrisons buyers will invite the best local suppliers to showcase their products at an event in Edinburgh in June. Successful suppliers will then have the opportunity to be listed in Morrisons stores.

Morrisons will also be working with members of the Women’s Institutes in their communities, using their local knowledge and expertise to source and select the best suppliers in their area.

The supermarket’s search is announced as a report was published on Friday by leading expert on global food issues, Professor Tim Benton. 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.

In the report Professor Benton, from the University of Leeds, 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.

Morrisons is already the single largest customer of British farming and it also makes most of the fresh food that it sells.

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

The closing date for the event in Edinburgh applications is Friday, May 5.