A Morrisons-commissioned report on the UK food sector published today pointed out that UK farmers supplied only 52% of our food in 2015.
In the face of the country’s impending split from the EU – bringing with it the threat of tariffs and continued price inflation – Morrisons has moved to bolster its British credentials.
It’s looking to recruit a fresh raft of food suppliers from across the UK within the next year as part of its new campaign, ‘The Nation’s Local Foodmakers’.
The grocer hopes the move will not only shield the business from currency headwinds – should they continue to blow – but encourage customers to pay more attention to where their food comes from and not take the continuous supply for granted.
Because, despite some tongue-in-cheek media coverage of a courgette shortage, the problems around food supply evidently run deeper, and hurt more than just fans of spiralizing.
The issue of price inflation also reared its head today in the ONS retail sales figures for January, which missed expectations.
Trade bodies – including the BRC – have slammed the government over its plans on business rates, as steam builds on the issue.
And for a bit of Friday fun, we examine the unusual career avenues some retail figures – including Mike Ashley – explored before embracing the industry.
Quote of the day
“The government’s outrageous proposals… would force hard-pressed businesses to cough up an extra £1.9bn to pay for the Valuation Office Agency’s mistakes.”
– Jerry Schurder, head of business rates at Gerald Eve property consultants, on government plans that could stop firms appealing against rates rises.
Today in numbers
The amount Argos is shelling out in wages after an HMRC investigation revealed it had underpaid more than 37,000 current and former staff.
The number of trade bodies that have joined to campaign against “outrageous” Government plans to prevent firms appealing business rates rises.
Next week’s agenda
Look out for our interview with Ikea UK and Ireland boss Gillian Drakeford on Monday, fourth quarter Asda results on Tuesday and Hotel Chocolat’s interims on Wednesday.
Emily Hardy, reporter