The supermarket chain has kick-started a hunt for 200 new food producers from across the UK within the next year alone, as it bids to beef up its British credentials.

Morrisons’ fresh push comes after the British Food Report – published by leading experts on global food issues and commissioned by the grocer – revealed that only half of all food eaten in the UK comes from British farms.

Higginson believes Brexit has presented a chance to change that statistic.

In a video interview with Retail Week, Higginson said: “At a time when there is uncertainty around global trade, whether there are going to be trade barriers re-emerging and those kind of things, this is a chance for local suppliers, UK suppliers, to have access to Morrisons stores.

“There’s no doubt that the fall in the value of the pound is an opportunity for UK suppliers to grow their business. It helps them be more competitive against some of their international competitors.”

Morrisons is harnessing its own food-making credentials to supply thousands of fresh, frozen and ambient products to Amazon, as the big four shape their strategies for future growth.

Sainsbury’s has acquired Argos from Home Retail Group in a £1.4bn deal as it grows its non-food business, while Tesco has agreed a deal to purchase wholesaler Booker.

Higginson said: “Both of those companies have got clear strategies in terms of what they want to do, but we are kind of going the other way really – we are simplifying our business.

“We have exited that convenience store business that we had and really focused back on our core stores, making opportunities to service growth areas like convenience and food to go.

“So good luck to them. Our strategy is different. We are very much keeping it simple and focusing back on the core and, touch wood, so far that’s working well for us.”

Andy Higginson will be on stage at Retail Week Live, the UK’s premier festival of retail and consumer commerce, taking place in London on March 8-9, 2017.

The event attracts over 1,200 retail chiefs and leading business personalities who gather to experience the unique combination of networking, inspiring content, strategic thinking and innovation. To book your ticket visit: www.live.retail-week.com