Irish chicken suppliers unaffected by Tesco UK’s decision to source meat closer to home

Tesco chief executive Philip Clarke has said that from July, all chicken meats stocked in UK stores will come from British farms
Tesco chief executive Philip Clarke has said that from July, all chicken meats stocked in UK stores will come from British farms

Tesco has made a commitment in the UK to source more meat from "closer to home" in Britain but has said Irish suppliers won't lose out as a result



4 March 2013

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From July all chicken meats sold at Tesco’s UK stores will come from British farms, Tesco chief executive Philip Clarke has said.

However it is understood that the move will not affect Irish chicken suppliers’ existing situation. 

The chicken supplied to Tesco UK from within the island of Ireland is understood to mainly come from Northern Ireland.

In the Republic, chicken farms will continue to supply Tesco’s ROI stores, so it’s believed that the status quo will remain unchanged.

Tesco’s Philip Clarked made his comments as part of a speech he read at the National Farmers Union Conference 2013 in the UK.

The retail boss said he was "happy to confirm" that all of Tesco’s beef – fresh, frozen and in ready meals – is already sourced from the British Isles.

He also announced a "sincere commitment to source more of our meat closer to home," stating that: "Where it is reasonable to do so, we will source from British producers." 

Clarke described the horsemeat controversy as "a wake-up call for the whole industry."

"Over many years, the way retailers source food has been allowed to become too complex," said Clarke. "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. What this complexity in the supply chain has also done is to leave it open to exploitation by rogue elements operating in the processing industry." 

The chief executive added that from that day onwards, he was  "committing Tesco to offer contracts with a minimum period of two years to all our suppliers who want them." 

He also announced "an unprecedented DNA testing programme." 

"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."





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