Morrisons’ Philips packs meaty punch

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Morrisons: do fresh differently

Morrisons’ chief executive Dalton Philips focused on the retailer’s vertical integration as a point of difference at the 2010 IGD Convention.

“We do fresh differently,” he said. Dalton said 28,000 people work on its Market Street concept and, unlike rivals, fresh production is done in store.

Dalton said Morrisons was the second largest fresh food manufacturer in the country and this gave key benefits: quality and provenance, insight and flexibility.

Philips took delegates through Morrisons’ meat business, highlighting key personnel including the farmers it buys from and its own farm in Dumfries. He featured livestock managers visiting farms and cattle being taken to Morrisons’ own abattoirs. Animal welfare was high on the agenda and staff were trained across all aspects of the slaughter process, he said.

Ofal is sent to stores and for use in pet food, while other animal by-products end up as seats in BMW cars and in Ugg boots.

Meat products are sent to Morrisons distribution centre and its Farmers Boy cooked meats business. Mince, pies and burgers are all made by the business for sale in store, said Philips. “We are the only large retailer that’s doing this in store,” he said.

Philips highlighted the training in-store butchers were put through and training in fresh foods, which were recognised and transferable skills.

“It’s a great meat business,” he said and sales are up 14%.

Philips said Morrisons had a unique proposition and it intended to take vertical integration further following the acquisition of a stir fry and cooked meat plants.