28 Feb 2013

Tesco to buy more food from British farmers

4:28 pm on 28 February 2013

British supermarket chain Tesco says it will buy more meat from British farmers in the wake of the horsemeat scandal.

The pledge on Wednesday was made at a conference of the National Farmers Union (NFU) which urged supermarkets to stop scouring the globe for cheaper food and called for consumers to buy British.

A survey by the NFU showed 86% of shoppers want to buy more traceable food that's been produced on British farmers, and a further 78% agree that supermarkets should sell more food produced on British farms.

Speaking at the conference, Tesco chief executive Philip Clarke promised the NFU that the supermarket company would bring its meat production "closer to home."

Earlier, he told the BBC that Tesco had introduced a new testing process to ensure that all of Tesco's products contain exactly what was on the label.

Sainsbury's chief executive Justin King said his supermarket was committed to doubling the amount of British food it sold by 2020.

In response to Mr Clarke's remarks, Sainsbury's said all its fresh chicken had been British for a decade and it has started using British chicken in frozen chicken ready-meals.

The BBC reports the horsemeat scandal emerged in January, when Irish food inspectors announced they had found traces of horsemeat in frozen beef burgers stocked by UK supermarkets including Tesco, Iceland and Lidl.

Horsemeat found in sausages

Russia has found horsemeat in a shipment of sausages imported from Austria.

The Rosselkhoznadzor agency said tests on a shipment of 20 tonnes of sausages imported from the city of Linz, found horse DNA. The contaminated meat will either be destroyed or returned to the supplier.

Horsemeat is a delicacy in Russia and can be found in many restaurants and stores across the country.