Horsemeat: Tesco to make greater British meat commitment

Tesco will announce a new commitment to source more meat from the UK at a National Farmers’ Union (NFU) conference in Birmingham later today.

The supermarket chain’s chief executive Philip Clarke will tell the conference that, by July this year, all chicken sold by the company will come from British farms, with pork products to follow shortly after.

Clarke’s announcement will come only one day after Kantar Worldpanel revealed its latest supermarket share figures, which saw Tesco’s share drop by 0.4% on last year.

Meanwhile, the NFU released figures today, which showed consumers wanted to see more British food on supermarket shelves and in restaurants. According to the NFU’s statistics, more than 86% of shoppers are as likely, or more likely, to want to buy more traceable food that has been produced on British farms, while a further 78% "strongly" agreed that supermarkets should sell more food from British farms.

NFU president Peter Kendall said: "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 such as Red Tractor. For me this is fundamental for consumer confidence."

Clarke has also confirmed that, in an attempt to have a more transparent supply chain, Tesco would be putting cameras in its supply chain to allow shoppers to see where their food has come from. He said the company would be taking cameras into the supply chain and a website would be set up, meaning there would be "nowhere for anybody to hide".