Tesco to source more meat from the UK

Tesco has vowed to source more of its meat products from the UK and improve relationships with farmers and producers as it looks to improve confidence in its supply chain in the wake of the ongoing horse meat scandal.


Tesco to source more meat from the UK.

The supermarket will now source all its chicken from British farmers.

In his latest video blog, Tesco CEO Philip Clarke, says the supermarket will bring meat production “closer to home” and work with the National Farmers Union (NFU) to build longer, closer direct relationships with farmers and producers in the UK.

He says: “I’m talking about longer relationship directly with producers and farmers to make sure the meat processing industry can deliver the products its says it can deliver to the plates of consumers.”

“I’m setting out what we found, what we believe the cause is and what were doing to make sure it doesn’t happen again, and then forging a strategy for the future which sees meat production coming closer to the UK and Ireland and seeing longer relationships with farmers.”

Tesco’s announcement comes as a OnePoll survey commission by the NFU today (27 February) reveals more than 86 per cent of shoppers are as likely or more likely to want to buy more traceable food that has been produced on British farms following the horse meat revelations. A further 78 per cent agree or strongly agree that supermarkets should sell more food from British farms.

Clarke is giving his first interviews to the press today and is due to deliver a speech at the annual NFU conference.

NFU President Peter Kendall says: “Farmers have been furious about what has happened. They have spent many years working to ensure the British supply chain is fully traceable from farm to pack and building strong principles which are embodied in assurance schemes like Red Tractor. For me this is fundamental for consumer confidence.

“But more than that, I want to see retailers working on re-building consumer trust, improving transparency and so partnership with farmers and the rest of the supply chain is critical.”

Rival Morrisons has focused its marketing on highlighting it is already closer to the meat supply chain than its rivals because it sources direct from farmers and is the only UK supermarket to own its own abattoirs and integrate food preparation. It is the only supermarket to offer 100 per cent British fresh beef, pork, lamb and poultry.

As a result, Morrisons’ brand has benefited from the ongoing horse meat crisis. Its Buzz score, which is a measure of the positive and negative things consumers have heard about a brand, increased to 17.6 today, up from 1.4 in mid-January before the scandal broke, according to YouGov’s BrandIndex. Tesco, Asda and Sainsbury’s meanwhile have all seen their Buzz scores fall

Meanwhile, The Co-operative Group has said it will review its meat supply chain and put in place a more transparent process to track the provenance of its food products. The Group will also step up testing across all food products to ensure “ongoing scrutiny”.

In an email sent to all Co-op members, group CEO Peter Marks says: “We are far from complacent about a matter which has so clearly shaken customer confidence in the food you eat. Let me repeat the sincere apology I made to our customers and members last week and assure you that we will do all we can to reinforce the integrity of our products and the trust that we have spent generations building up.”

Readers' comments (4)

  • Let's also hope Tesco pays a UK supply chain a fair price, and not bully farmers into unsustainable payments e.g. like diary farmers. Tesco has an extensive history of bullying suppliers and brands with the threat of de-listing, often with disastrous consequences

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  • It was Tesco who priced the UK farmers out in the first place!

    Let's hope quality over greed can be maintained now!!

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  • Excuse my cynicism, but it doesn't sound as though the boards of the supermarkets affected have really understood the problem they face. Instead of screwing foreign low cost suppliers, they are going to turn their attention to British ones. This is a problem of their own making.
    Firstly, in sourcing cheaply and using volume to beat down their suppliers.
    Secondly, using low grade negotiation techniques, saying to suppliers- “if you don't supply at this price, we'll find someone who can”.
    Thirdly, not doing their jobs in protecting their own customers by properly Quality Controlling the products they bought so cheaply.
    This pushes (volume) and pulls (no QC) volume based suppliers to reduce cost by sourcing cheap protein. (Well... who's going to check anyway? The TSAs don't have the money!). It is unsurprising, since in many cases, it is the only way to save their own companies. Take a look at the various articles which come up under a search for “Findus financial restructuring”. They had huge debts of £750bn or so on t/o of £1.1bn (profit after interest must have been nothing!). With pressure from retailers to reduce price during the recession, where do they and other similar suppliers go? Their business model is built on volume, so if they lose 10% or more of their volume, they are bust.
    The model has to change as do retail buying attitudes. Everyone has to be allowed a living. Inflation does exist and can't be “negotiated out of the supply chain”. The farmers in the UK have been asking for this for years and been ignored, while it was in the interests of government, retailers and consumers to ignore them (for the “benefit” of cheap prices). Let's hope that the speech to the farmers union is more than just empty words; but excuse my cynicism...
    My personal feeling is that there are more “embarrassing” revelations to come.

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  • Morrisons are the leaders in meat products being sourced in the UK. Why can"t other supermarkets follow suit?Buy British!

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