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Morrisons tries to reassure UK farmers over Fortress’s takeover bid

Morrisons tries to reassure UK farmers over Fortress’s takeover bid
Morrisons tries to reassure UK farmers over Fortress’s takeover bid

Morrisons, the world’s fourth-largest supermarket chain, has reportedly written a letter to the farmers of the UK to alleviate their concerns or fears regarding the Fortress takeover bid. According to reports, through the letter, the firm has tried to reassure UK farmers that the takeover offer headed by US investment group, Fortress, will still preserve the company’s identity and its relationships with its suppliers.

In the letter, addressed to more than 3000 UK farmers who stock the supermarket chain with their produce, David Potts, CEO of Morrisons, stated that according to the company's board, Fortress would be an appropriate and responsible owner, and that its promises regarding the company's future are genuine.

Through the letter, Potts stated that throughout the discussion with Fortress, the firm carefully evaluated whether Fortress would be a viable and appropriate Morrisons owner and whether its ambitions for the business would maintain and grow Morrisons' fundamental character for the benefit of all stakeholders.

Rather than dealing with intermediaries such as wholesalers, Morrisons directly deals with the farmers whose produce fill its shelves. As a result, Morrisons has been labeled British farming's largest direct customer by the National Farmers' Union (NFU).

Farmers had previously raised concerns regarding the sale and whether a future owner of Morrisons would respect the firm's relationships with its food producers and its payment processes, while also committing to cooperate with farmers to improve sustainability and ensure food security in the nation.

Addressing this concern in the letter, Potts stated that the firm was proud to have championed British farmers for years and assured them that this would not alter under the new ownership.

The president of the NFU, Minette Batters, stated that the farmers would be keeping a careful eye over any Morrisons' potential takeover.

Batters welcomed Fortress’s acknowledgment of the major role played by Morrisons in British agriculture and expressed it as encouraging that the Fortress had committed to maintain the strategic goals of Morrisons to assist and collaborate with British farmers to fulfill its environmental commitments.

Source credit: https://www.theguardian.com/business/2021/jul/11/morrisons-writes-to-reassure-anxious-uk-farmers-over-us-takeover

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