Tesco to Use More British Meat in Wake of Horsemeat Scandal


28 Feb 2013 --- Leading UK retailer Tesco has said it would buy more meat from its home market in Britain and shorten supply chains after the discovery of horsemeat in beef products shook consumer confidence in supermarket sourcing.

--- Tesco, Britain's biggest retailer, was one of the first grocers to be hit by the horsemeat scandal, which has prompted European governments to demand tougher rules on the sourcing and labelling of meat products.

In a speech at the National Farmers Union, Philip Clarke, Group Chief Executive, Tesco, “Not since BSE has the meat processing industry been under such scrutiny. The events of the last six weeks have shocked the whole country. Customers don’t like what they’ve been hearing about how some of the meat they put on their plates is produced.” While he denied price rises were “inevitable”, he acknowledged that he could not “guarantee” they would remain at present levels.

“Tesco customers tell me they are concerned about the provenance of their meat, and that they want to buy British. And the vision I have is of a bright future for British agriculture, a future based on better relationships and upon a transparent supply chain. We are the UK’s biggest retailer, the biggest customer of UK agriculture, and I firmly believe that means we should be the best supporter of British farmers.”

“Events over the past six weeks have been a wake-up call for the whole industry. Over many years, the way retailers source food has been allowed to become too complex. Reducing this complexity is in everyone’s interests, specifically by shortening the supply chain where possible and increasing co-operation between producers, processors and retailers.”

“Working directly with farmers and growers is key to our new approach,” he stated, “and so as well as making commitments about the provenance of our meat, I want to make some commitments to how we work with you. You have told us how powerful and helpful you find our existing Tesco Sustainable Farming Groups, which has proved a successful model for partnership with some of our dairy farmers, so today I am announcing an extension of these across our agricultural supply base to cover all proteins. We will also explore the potential to extend this approach to fruits, vegetables and salads too.”

“Furthermore, we are appointing a new Tesco Agriculture Director who will lead the development of these groups and will ensure that the farming industry has a single point of contact with Tesco.”

“We recognise that if we are to have a genuine partnership with you, we need to give you the certainty you need to maintain and grow your business.”

“Again as a demonstration of my commitment to building this new spirit of collaboration, today, I am committing Tesco to offer contracts with a minimum period of two years to all our suppliers who want them.”

“I am also announcing today that we are going to extend our very successful producer network, a social network of producers to help all of us share knowledge and communicate more directly with producers, farmers and growers. We will do this with a phased approach, starting next month with dairy farmers. I think it’s a really exciting further step on this journey towards a true partnership.”

“Tesco’s success is built on a focus on the customer, and I am absolutely committed to ensuring that our entire product range offers quality. This applies as much to our Everyday Value range as to our Finest range. I will never accept the patronising argument that somehow a value product shouldn’t meet the same exacting standards as the core range.”

“I will also never accept the equally patronising view that providing people with affordable food – what some people dismiss as “cheap food” – is somehow wrong. It does not follow that the measures I am announcing today mean that food needs to become more expensive.”

“Everyone at Tesco is committed to offering the highest quality food at every price point. Whatever a customer is able to afford, there can be no compromise – what’s on the pack (and only what’s on the pack) is what will be in the product.”

“I have put in place an industry-leading raft of measures to restore consumer confidence in our product. We will be implementing an unprecedented DNA testing programme on all batches of processed beef coming into our supply chain, and are putting in place a new Tesco standard so shoppers know that the products they are buying have been through the most rigorous testing regime in UK retail. To hold us to account, we are also establishing an independent panel of experts which will help us to improve the way the supply chain works in practice.”

To contact our editorial team please email us at editorial@cnsmedia.com

Related Articles

Business News

Beyond Meat eyes European expansion as IPO rumors intensify

23 Oct 2018 --- Beyond Meat, the highly innovative Californian innovator behind the plant-based alternative burger, Beyond Burger is eyeing a major roll-out in Europe as rumors intensify around an initial public offering (IPO). At SIAL 2018, which is currently taking place in Paris, the company highlighted its partnership with Dutch meat importer Zandbergen. The meat hall at this year’s event is noteworthy for the sheer number of innovative meat alternatives on display to cater to both vegetarian consumers, but also meat reducers or flexitarians.

Food Ingredients News

“Excessive salt levels” found in meat alternatives, says UK campaign group

23 Oct 2018 --- Campaign group Action on Salt (AoS) is urging the government to step up legislation on salt reduction after finding “excessive amounts” in some processed meat alternatives. A UK product survey reveals several meat-free products are far higher in salt than the recommended guidelines. And, Public Health England, the government agency responsible for the UK’s salt reduction program, admits “there is still a long way to go” on decreasing the nation’s salt intake.

Food Ingredients News

Vegan expansion: General Mills leads US$40m investment in Kite Hill

23 Oct 2018 --- The US plant-based food market is receiving further support to meet the consumer demand for vegan products. Vegan cheese and yogurt company Kite Hill has secured US$40 million in funding led by 301 Inc, the new business development and venturing unit at General Mills. Cavu Venture Partners also participated in the financing round and the deal is expected to close within a month.

Food Ingredients News

Sustainable protein: Funding for duckweed start-up to boost “awe-inspiring” aquatic crop

22 Oct 2018 --- Plantible Foods, the creators of a sustainable, allergen-free protein derived from lemna (also known as duckweed), has completed a pre-seed funding round led by Unshackled Ventures, an early-stage fund for immigrant-founded start-ups based in Silicon Valley. With the investment, the amount of which has not been disclosed, Plantible Foods says it will finalize its proprietary extraction technology and work with leading food scientists on the commercialization of its ingredients.

Packaging & Technology News

Tetra Pak’s Vice President of Sustainability: “We are the largest user of biopolymers today, but the market is not yet there”

22 Oct 2018 --- A holistic approach to sustainability that will lead to a packaging portfolio of 100 percent renewable materials is driving the vision of Tetra Pak. Mario Abreu, Tetra Pak’s Vice President for Sustainability and Chairman of the Sustainability Forum tells PackagingInsights about how Tetra Pak is attempting to increase the viability of the renewable sources market in an effort to only use “renewable and available materials that will always be replenished.”

More Articles