UK supermarket Tesco, the world’s third-largest retailer, said it would focus more on British products and in particular on chicken.
Tesco Chief Executive Philip Clarke told farmers at the recent National Farmers Union conference in Birmingham that the company would seek more partnerships with British farmers and that from July all fresh chicken sold at Tesco’s stores in the United Kingdom would come from British farms.
“We’ll move over time to ensure that all of our chicken in all of our products, fresh or frozen, is from the British Isles,” he said.
The discovery of horsemeat in some beef products sold by Tesco and other retail outlets in the UK led to criticism from Prime Minister David Cameron and public outcry forcing retailers to look again at their suppliers.
“We are going to examine all aspects of our supply chain. We’ll look at the processes that we use and make sure we can be totally confident in how our products are being sourced,” he told farmers.
Clarke said the retailer would establish an independent panel of experts to advise on its supply chain, which would need to be shortened and simplified. Environment Secretary Owen Paterson said British suppliers should seize on increased demand for top-quality British products that pass through “rigorous traceability systems”.
“This is a fantastic opportunity for British farmers to show their products to the British consumer, because the British consumer has had a horrible shock in recent weeks. There is a clear fraud in the horsemeat scandal,” Paterson said.