BPC welcomes Tesco’s commitment to British chicken

The British Poultry Council (BPC) has welcomed Tesco’s decision to source more chicken from the UK.

According to BPC chief executive Peter Bradnock, the decision will deliver a boost to Britain’s "vital agri-food industry" and will encourage long-term investment in British production.

Tesco’s group chief executive Philip Clarke announced the decision at the National Farmers’ Union (NFU) conference in Birmingham on Wednesday (27 February). Clarke told the conference that, as a first step on the company’s journey to source more meat from the UK, from July all of Tesco’s fresh chicken "must come from UK farms – no exceptions". He added: "We will also move over time to ensure that all the chicken in all of our products – fresh or frozen – is from the British Isles."

Clarke also confirmed that all of the supermarket chain’s beef – fresh, frozen and in ready meals – was already from the British Isles.

He told the conference that the changes could not be done without the help of the delegates there. Clarke said: "These commitments represent a genuine shift in how Tesco sources the products we sell. I am determined to build a clear and sustainable relationship of equals, and one that gives our customers confidence in how their food is produced. That has to be good for all of us in this room and all of us in the country."

Of the announcement, Bradnock said: "British poultry producers are proud to meet the high standards of the Red Tractor Assurance Scheme – a mark of quality and responsibility across the supply chain. The poultry sector is a model for traceability and transparency, which we know is valued by our customers."