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Tell Morrisons you're off

Let them know if they use GM feed, you'll shop elsewhere


05 Mar 2013

Morrisons sales and market share down

The Grocer reports that Morrisons is losing both sales and market share in the supermarket sector (see http://www.thegrocer.co.uk/companies/supermarkets/sainsburys/sainsburys-trumps-big-four-in-latest-kantar-worldpanel-figures/236948.article).

Please let them know that every little GMO in feed hurts.


What you can do

Write to Morrisons Head of Policy David Scott (David.FJ.Scott@morrisonsplc.co.uk) telling him you want the company to reinstate its non-GM feed policy for poultry.

It would be great if those of you using FaceBook could leave a comment on the Morrions FaceBook page (www.facebook.com/MorrisonsWeLoveFood appears to have been taken down, if you can't find it try www.facebook.com/Morrisons) telling the company and anyone visiting the page it is unacceptable to drop their non-GM poultry feed policy and demanding it be reinstated. This should really get their attention - it's very public and over 50,000 customers "like" the page, so it's a great place to add pressure. Thank you.

Points to include:

  • I am very unhappy about the Morrisons change of policy to accepting GM poultry feed.
  • I will not be shopping at Morrisons until the company reinstates a non-GM feed policy.
  • The highly controversial RTRS has been condemned by hundreds of organisations worldwide. Sourcing from the RTRS is not “sustainable” and not acceptable.


Background to this action

In March the media reported Morrisons would end its requirement on suppliers to use only non-GM poultry feed. This change in policy puts the supermarket out of step with other UK food retailers, lead by Marks & Spencer, which do not permit GM feed in the poultry meat or egg supply chains. See our helpful guide to supermarket policy on GM animal feed Where to buy non-GM fed

When questioned Morrisons Head of Policy told complaining customers:

"Morrisons is not altering its policy on the use of GM in food: we do not use genetically modified ingredients in any of our own brand products and have no plans to change this.  However, in order to ease pressure on farmers and to strengthen our ability to hold down prices for consumers, we are no longer specifying that our poultry farmers use non-GM feed. At the same time we are introducing measures to improve the sustainability of the feed supply chain.
 
"Morrisons is alive to concerns over the impacts of both GM and non-GM soya production on the natural environment, such as the Cerrado in Brazil. We are working to improve the sustainability of the feed supply chain by investing in research into alternative protein sources and the development of home-grown soya, which would reduce reliance on imports in the future. Importantly, we are also looking to increase the use of certified sustainable soya in our supply chain, through initiatives such as the Roundtable on Responsible Soy (RTRS)."

Morrisons has chosen cheap food over sustainability and has regrettably opted to use the fig leaf of the RTRS. GM Freeze joins hundreds of organisations from around the world in condemning the RTRS as an attempt to greenwash highly damaging soya production as "responsible". UK supermarkets Marks & Spencer, Waitrose, Asda and Sainsbury's have formally joined the RTRS

All previous updates

30 Mar 2012

Morrisons not listening?

Morrisons is continuing to send the same letter quoted here to those who complain about their new GM feed policy.

If your write to Morrisons and get a long letter with these paragraphs in it, please write back to them saying:

- In November 2011 Morrisons wrote to customers, "Morrisons poultry is from animals that are fed a non-GM diet." It is difficult to understand what has changed in past few weeks to have forced a change to GM.
- The RTRS is greenwashing of the worst kind and is in no way acceptable.
- The confirmation from the company that they appear to be sticking to a new GM feed policy means you will be shopping elsewhere.

Many thanks to those posting messages on the Morrisons FaceBook page as suggested here.

30 Mar 2012

Tesco holding firm on non-GM feed

As a result of a letter written to Tesco about their feed policy, we can let you know Tesco says they will NOT be changing their feed policy regarding GM.

Any responses people get from other supermarkets gratefully received.

02 Apr 2012

Morrisons FB page changes, new notes sent

Two updates:

1) Late last week comments about the change of GM feed policy dominated the entire first page of the Morrisons FaceBook page and continued on subsequent pages. As of Monday morning, the entire format of the page has changed and now includes much more room for promotions and a lot less for comment (although unhappy comments about the new format are visible). Of course we have no way of determining what prompted the timing of these alterations, but it is an interesting coincidence.

2) While Morrisons is still sending some customers the standard reply (if you have one of these, please see the action update on this page for advice), others are receiving a slightly new message. This says:

"We do not use genetically modified ingredients in any of our own brand products and have no plans to change this. However, shopping budgets are tighter than ever and British poultry farmers are facing very difficult market conditions.

"This is partly because poultry farmers have faced restrictions on the use of authorised GM feed, which has passed rigorous safety tests. As non-GM feed like soya is 10-15% more expensive, this additional cost is forcing up the shelf price of eggs and chicken. To help British poultry farmers provide these staple products at affordable prices, Morrisons took the decision to no longer specify that they must use non-GM feed. It should be noted that none of the major food retailers have a non-GM feed commitment for all of their meat and dairy products.

"Of course, we understand that some customers want meat products that are from animals fed a non-GM diet and we offer those customers choice through our organic range."

There are several difficulties with this response. If you receive this message you could respond saying some or all of the following:

- Marks & Spencer manage to maintain a non-GM fed policy for most of their lines including milk. The Coop, Tesco, Waitrose maintain non-GM feed requirements for eggs, as do Lidl for free range eggs, so the demand can be met across a variety of price ranges. Morrisons is moving backwards and then blaming others.

- Non-GM soya is only one component in poultry feed, and the overall cost rise of non-GM is only a matter of pennies per bird, so this is not a persuasive reason to change policy. Furthermore the way to bring down the price of GM soya is to increase the amount of it on the market, and all that is needed to do that is for supermarkets to use their considerable buying power to place the orders to give customers what they want, including expanding the ranges of non-GM fed animal products.

- The reason farmers are struggling is because supermarkets use their power to force down the prices farmers get paid. Supermarkets present this as "value" for shoppers, but in fact it is a distortion of the market and farmers suffer for it.

- It is precisely because "shopping budgets are tighter than ever" that organics are not an option for everyone, so there is no real "choice" at Morrisons. Other supermarkets do offer what shoppers want, so they will get the business.

08 May 2012

Great article in The Grocer

We couldn't have said it better ourselves - Joanna Blythman's piece, first published in The Grocer, is available at her blog at http://www.joannablythmanwriting.com/Joanna_Blythman_Writing/Blog/Entries/2012/5/7_Morrisons_GM_Muck_Up.html (unless you have a subscription to The Grocer).

If you haven't told Morrison's what you think yet, or even if you have, this is a great opportunity to ask them how they respond to the points raised here - including how Carrefour can do what Morrison's says they can't.

11 Sep 2012

Morrisons loses "Good Egg" Award

Morrisons has reintroduced caged hens, so it has been stripped of the Compassion in World Farming "Good Egg" award (see http://bit.ly/RDbRSd)

Given the use of GM feed, it's another reason to tell them you'll shop elsewhere, so do write to them today.

05 Mar 2013

Morrisons sales and market share down

The Grocer reports that Morrisons is losing both sales and market share in the supermarket sector (see http://www.thegrocer.co.uk/companies/supermarkets/sainsburys/sainsburys-trumps-big-four-in-latest-kantar-worldpanel-figures/236948.article).

Please let them know that every little GMO in feed hurts.