// Farmers plead for continued support if Morrisons changes ownership
// National Farmers Union says it overlook any potential takeover of the supermarket chain
Farmers have urged a new owner of Morrisons to continue to support them if the supermarket changes hands after the failed £5.5 billion private equity bid earlier this week.
As rumours grow about a feeding frenzy among potential suitors and their intentions for the Big 4 grocer, the National Farmers Union (NFU) said it would “keep a close eye on any potential future purchase of Morrisons” and would scrutinise the impact on farmers.
“Morrisons is a significant supporter of British farming and we would like to see this continue under any new ownership,” the NFU said.
Morrisons is one of the largest pork processors in the UK and directly owns a significant portion of its supply chain.
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Morrisons also gets all of its fresh milk from UK farmers, including North Hill Farm in Buckingham, where the cows generate more than 1.3 million litres of milk every year.
Farmers’ concerns emerged shortly after Labour urged the government to interfere in any Morrisons takeover to ensure enforceable promises about the company’s future and employment security.
“Morrisons’ assets are hugely important to British farmers and food supply chains, as demonstrated during the Covid-19 crisis,” the party said.
Shadow business minister Seema Malhotra said that ministers must stand up for the hundreds of thousands of workers, customers, farmers and the wider food retail sector who would be affected by a takeover.
A government spokesman said: “We are committed to ensuring that the UK remains open for business, while protecting the livelihoods of British workers and investment in the UK.