Tesco promises welcomed

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NFU Scotland president Nigel Miller welcomed Tesco’s promise to the National Farmers Union AGM in Birmingham last week to support British farmers more.

The Stow livestock farmer said: “Mr Clarke made some admirable pledges, and, if delivered upon, they represent a major cultural shift for Britain’s largest retailer.”

In his speech to farmers, Tesco boss Philip Clarke admitted: “We haven’t always approached our relationships with our farmers and producers in the true spirit of partnership.”

He promised change and to extend Tesco’s “sustainable farming groups”, with direct 36-month contracts already established with dairy, Aberdeen Angus beef and pork farmers, across all livestock producers. And he said Tesco would offer contracts of a minimum of two years to all of its suppliers.

Mr Miller said: “A move away from short-term tenders to longer term contracts of two years for farmers is a good start [to better collaboration], as is an acknowledgement from Tesco that all players in the supply chain should be profitable. This, and other promises to look at shorter supply chains for all ranges and to back-up products with a thorough DNA testing regime, is very positive.

“NFU Scotland looks forward to meeting with Tesco soon to find out exactly how this new approach will affect our members in practice.”