CEO Philip Clarke has today (15 February) posted on the supermarket’s official Talking Shop blog, following reports of criticism from Government over how much information retailers have provided.
In it, Clarke says Tesco has been “working flat out” to investigate and understand the problem.
Tesco has pledged to put a new benchmark in place to give consumers more confidence in the accuracy and honesty of food labelling, adding that Tesco’s effort is an “industry leading commitment” to enable customers to find out much more about its food and the way it is produced.
He outlines the action Tesco is taking including a review of its approach to the supply chain to develop a “world class” traceability and DNA testing programme and a new customer-facing website to give access to its progress.
Clarke adds the horse meat scandal, which has shone a light on the debate over the availability of cheap food, will not result in higher prices for customers. From tomorrow (Saturday 16 February) if a product, such as beef lasagne, is tested and withdrawn from sale, Tesco will provide customers with a better alternative for the same cost in an effort to ensure that “no customer loses out”.
Clarke says: “Nothing is more important to Tesco than the trust our customers place in us. And that trust depends on the quality of the products we sell. Today I want to make a clear promise to customers and to tell you about the rigorous processes we have put in place to prevent this situation happening again.
“This is just the beginning. I am clear that, as the UK’s leading food retailer, it is Tesco’s responsibility to lead on this issue. Where changes are needed, we’ll make sure they are made. And let me be clear that this doesn’t mean more expensive food – it just means doing things the right way, and accepting nothing less than the highest possible standards in the supply chain.”
Clarke previously blogged about the issue when news of the horse meat contamination first emerged, but since then the supermarket has referred media questions to the British Retail Consortium and declined to provide further answers.
The first results from additional tests on processed meat products ordered by the Food Standards Agency last week are due today (15 February).