Morrisons has acquired free range eggs manufacturer Chippindale Foods, bringing forward the date at which all its eggs will come from non-caged hens, which currently stands at 2025.

The addition of the Chippindale Foods business is expected to enable Morrisons to work closely with egg farmers to support a sustainable supply chain, the welfare of hens and the quality of their eggs.

It also means that the retailer will make more of its own fresh food, as it currently manufactures the majority of its own fresh food in 17 manufacturing sites and 491 stores, including bakery, seafood, meat, fruit and vegetables, flowers and chilled processed products.

Nick Chippindale, managing director, will stay with the business and the 54 staff employed at the site at Flaxby, North Yorkshire, will become Morrisons’ colleagues in a growing manufacturing business.

Andrew Thornber, Morrisons’ manufacturing director, commented: “The addition of Chippindale Foods to our fresh food manufacturing business will give us the opportunity to build on our deep relationships with British farmers and become even more competitive for our supermarket and wholesale customers.”

The news follows strong post-Christmas performance, with the supermarket having experienced sales growth of 2.2% for the 12 weeks to 28th January, although it lost 0.2% of its market share, compared to the same period last year.