Tesco chief executive Philip Clarke has announced that all of the supermarket’s chicken – starting with fresh in July – is to be 100 per cent British.

The chief executive of supermarket giant Tesco has announced that it is to sell 100% British chicken.

Tesco CEO Philip Clarke made a commitment to sourcing 100% British chicken at the NFU conference.Speaking at the NFU conference in Birmingham yesterday (February 28, 2013), Philip Clarke said the move will be phased, starting with fresh chicken from July of this year. However, “over time” and with “no exceptions” this will also include all other chicken – fresh or frozen – used in its products, he said.

Mr Clarke was also keen to emphasise that all beef in Tesco products – fresh, frozen and in ready meals – already comes from the British Isles.

He said: “These commitments represent a genuine shift in how Tesco sources the products [it] sells.”

The CEO also said the supermarket would be committing to offering contracts to suppliers with a minimum two-year length – an announcement that was welcomed with rapturous applause from delegates.

Speaking in the wake of the UK horse meat scandal, Mr Clarke said he felt Tesco had a responsibility “to lead the way” out of the food industry’s crisis. In doing so, the company will study its supply chain to ensure the supermarket is “totally confident” where its products come from.

“I am in no doubt that we will find things we don’t like. But when we find them, we will change them,” he said.

He also revealed that Tesco will be hiring a new agriculture director in an effort to ensure farmers have a “single point of contact” with the supermarket.

Earlier on in the conference, NFU president Peter Kendall had called for “shorter, simpler supply chains” with an emphasis on buying British.

“What do I mean by short?” asked Mr Kendall. “I mean simple as possible – farmer, processor, shop. We must make that our collective ambition.”

Image © NFU/Simon Hadley
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