Supermarket seeks food and drink suppliers

A major supermarket has launched a search for Harrogate’s best food and drink producers and is inviting local suppliers to pitch for a place on its shelves.

Morrisons already stocks lots of the foods Yorkshire is famous for, but the search means that Harrogate customers will be better able to ‘buy local’.

Ben Wildin, Morrisons Harrogate store manager says: “Our customers tell us they want to see even more food that is made in our area and that’s why we’re asking the best suppliers to get in touch.”

As well as listing suppliers that Yorkshire 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.

In their search for the next local food phenomenon, Morrisons buyers will invite the best local suppliers to showcase their products at an event in Keighley, West Yorkshire on March 14. Successful suppliers will then have the opportunity to be listed in Morrisons stores.

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

The supermarket’s announcement coincides with a report published 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.

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

The closing date for applications to the Keighley event is Friday, March 3.