Tesco establishes direct contracts with pig, cattle farmers

Tesco establishes direct contracts with pig, cattle farmers

Tesco has insisted its move to establish direct supply contracts with UK pig and cattle farmers will not impact the meat processors that supply the UK retailer.

Earlier today (8 November), Tesco revealed plans to establish two supplier organisations for farmers that supply it with certain beef and pork products. Beef producers will be guaranteed an "above market" price for meat, while pork producers will be paid a "fair price" linked to swings in feed costs.

Under the scheme, Tesco will enter into direct contracts with farmers, which may be up to 36 months in length. Previously, Tesco procured its fresh pork and beef products from processors.

However, a spokesperson for the retailer told just-food the meat processors "will be doing the same job that they have always done".

"The processors haven't been taken out of the equation and they are still going to do the job they always did. In terms of direct contracts with farmers, it allows us to have fantastic relationships with farmers, it allows us to talk to them quite a lot and see where their worries are. And also it is great for customers because by having those contracts with farmers it allows us to put even more good quality high-welfare British meat onto our shelves," the spokesperson said.

The move has been welcomed by farming organisations.

"Tesco's desire to establish a dedicated relationship with producers matched with a long term direct contractual commitment should be praised. We believe that these arrangements will foster stronger relationships with the farmers involved and ensure that Tesco is able to provide a consistent product for consumers," National Farmers Union president Peter Kendall said.

For further details on Tesco's Sustainable Farming groups from just-food click here.