Morrisons has snapped up a Cornish seafood supplier as the UK supermarket reaffirmed its commitment to fresh fish counters while rivals strip them out of stores.
The Bradford-based retailer confirmed it has acquired Falfish, which has supplied Morrisons for 16 years, for an undisclosed sum.
It claimed that the move means it has now become the first UK supermarket to own its own fishing boat.
The deal is the latest move by Morrisons to own parts of its supply chain, with more than 80% of its fish and shellfish now due to come through its wholly-owned supply chain.
Falfish, which operates from two sites in Redruth and Falmouth docks, secured around 50% of its annual £40 million turnover from Morrisons.
Morrisons said the move will help to reinforce its commitment for sustainable seafood and fish.
It comes after rivals Sainsbury’s and Tesco have reduced their numbers of fresh fish and meat counters, with the retailers saying this was driven by a change in customer demand.
Andrew Thornber, manufacturing director at Morrisons said: “Falfish is a great fit with Morrisons; not only is it a great British company supplying high quality fish and shellfish, but they also share our passion for sustainability and for local sourcing.
“Bringing Falfish into Morrisons further strengthens our position as Britain’s biggest foodmaker.
“Our manufacturing operations employ around 9,000 people at 19 sites throughout Britain, providing around 25 per cent of everything that Morrisons sells.”
Falfish’s 140 staff will transfer to Morrisons, the company said.
Mark Greet, managing director at Falfish, said: “Falfish has been a supplier to Morrisons since 2004 and over the years this has become a very strong partnership.
“For my father Ian and our family, as part of the Cornish community, this acquisition ensures the continuing ethos of Falfish in upholding our relationships and values, and strengthens this for our colleagues, for the South West fishing fleet, and for all of our customers and stakeholders.
“The acquisition is great news for Falfish’s Cornish operations and the wider community, bringing investment and access to many new opportunities.”