Our responsibility and our promise
15 February 2013 By Philip Clarke
A message to our customers from Philip Clarke, Chief Executive, Tesco.
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.
Since we became aware that a small number of Tesco processed meat products have been contaminated with horsemeat, we have been working flat out to get to the bottom of the issue. While tests continue, 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.
Here’s my promise: we will set a new benchmark for the testing of products, to give you confidence that if it isn’t on the label, it isn’t in the product. And that will be backed up by an industry-leading commitment to enable you to find out much more about what’s in the food we sell and how it’s produced.
Let me tell you some of the things we are doing immediately:
- I have asked my team to review our approach to the supply chain, to ensure we have visibility and transparency, and to come back with a plan to build a world class traceability and DNA testing system
- We are building a new website, which will enable our customers to see the progress we are making with our testing programme, and which products have been tested so you can be sure of where we are in the process
- We pledge that over the weeks and months ahead, we will open up our supply chain, and give you more information than any retailer has before to enable you to make informed choices about the food you buy for your family.
And I am determined that no customer will lose out as a result of the testing process we are going through, so from Saturday 16 February if a product is tested and then withdrawn from sale, we will provide you with a better alternative for the same cost. You can find more details at your local store.
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. Our priority right now is to complete our testing programme as quickly and thoroughly as possible, because people need to have confidence in all Tesco products. In addition, we are looking in great detail at every aspect of how products are sold in Tesco and at how our relationships with our suppliers become more transparent and collaborative.
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.
My absolute focus is on giving our customers complete confidence that every single product on sale in Tesco is of the highest quality and contains exactly what it says on the pack. It’s what you expect of us, and it’s what we demand of ourselves.
If you have any questions, visit www.tesco.com or call our customer helpline on 0800 505 555
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