Tesco‘s CEO has announced a raft of changes to its supply chain in the shadow of the horsemeat scandal, including a promise to source all fresh chicken from within the UK and the appointment of an ‘agriculture director’.

Speaking at the National Farmers Union annual conference today (27 February), Philip Clarke outlined new measure to shorten Tesco’s supply chain and build closer working relationships with farmers. He said the horsemeat scandal has been a “wake-up call” for the industry.

As part of a plan to “bring food closer to home”, he promised that, from July, all fresh chicken sold by Tesco will be sourced from within the UK.

“No exceptions,” he said, adding that the retailer plans to do the same with frozen chicken “over time”. All of the retailer’s fresh beef is already sourced in the UK.

Tesco will also appoint an agriculture director, who will be responsible for a series of new ‘sustainable farming groups’.

This model already exists in Tesco’s dairy supply, but the format will now be launched to cover all protein sources, while the firm will also examine whether it can create similar groups for fruit, vegetables and salad.

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By GlobalData

In order to help restore consumer confidence following the horsemeat debacle, in which Tesco was one of the first to recall products, Clarke also announced the creation of “independent panel of experts” to improve the way the group’s supply chain works in practice.

At the consumer end, Tesco will launch an interactive website to tell consumers what’s in their food and use video to ‘open up the supply chain’.