Morrisons promotes Welsh seafood

By

Lindsey Partos, SeafoodSource contributing editor, reporting from Paris

Published on
September 9, 2009

British retailer Morrisons is offering a new range of fresh Welsh seafood across its Welsh stores following the government’s pledge to encourage sustainable fishing.

Morrisons customers in Wales will now be able to buy Welsh oystersmusselssea bass and trout.

“I have been continuously vocal about the benefits of sourcing of local food, but, frustratingly, due to difficulties with the supply chain, the majority of high quality fish caught on our doorstep has not actually been available here in Wales,” said Welsh Rural Affairs Minister Elin Jones at Wednesday’s launch.

Historically, supply-chain difficulties have meant that the majority of Welsh fish is exported and, as a result, not widely available to Welsh consumers.

According to the Welsh Assembly, the Morrisons launch is the “first major outcome” of the assembly’s program to build a sustainable Welsh fishing industry. The government’s effort aims to support entrepreneurial seafood businesses and strengthen links with the retail and foodservice sectors.

“Today’s launch marks a huge step in the right direction. I congratulate Morrisons on their vision in sourcing these great products,” said Jones, adding that the assembly will continue to work with Morrisons and other major British retailers to expand the availability of Welsh fish.

Morrisons’ policy is to “support and encourage locally sourced” products, and its fresh fish counters stock more than 50 species, all of which are sustainable.

“Our new ‘Welsh Fresh’ fish range is a perfect example of our success so far, and we hope that our Welsh shoppers enjoy our new range,” said Janine Watson, Morrisons’ buying manager.

This latest effort was underpinned by the Wales Fisheries Strategy, launched in July 2008 by Jones to manage and develop fisheries in Wales through 2020.

“My aim is that all of these industries will be sustainable (environmentally, socially and economically), financially viable and effectively regulated,” said Jones at the time.

Morrisons is the United Kingdom’s fourth largest supermarket chain. On Wednesday, the company reported that strong sales helped boost profits to GBP 449 million (USD 747.8 million, EUR 513.4 million) in the first half of fiscal 2009, up from GBP 309 million (USD 514.7 million, EUR 353.3 million) during the same six-month period last year.

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