The AGM of Tesco Plc was held in London on Friday June 14th. The Chairman, Mr John Gardiner opened the meeting by stating that Tesco intended to continue its policy of providing even cheaper food for its customers.
He also stated that Tesco is supporting British farmers, because 97% of all meat sold by Tesco is British. A shareholder questioned the Chairman about the selling of Tesco's finest premium own label chicken with false labels. It had been reported in the National press that for six months these chicken had been falsely labelled as being of the RSPCA Freedom Food Standard, when in fact they were not of that standard. The shareholder quoted from Tesco2s Corporate Social Responsibility Review , which states-:
"We will continue to communicate honestly and clearly to our customers about the animal welfare standards under which our food is produced" The Chairman was invited to apologise to all the customers who had been deceived when buying these chicken, he was also invited to apologise to the RSPCA and its members, whose name and standard had been abused for six months and he was also invited to apologise to those farmers who produce food to the RSPCA Freedom Food Standard and whose work has been undermined by Tesco's actions. The Chairman declined to apologise, stating that it was not Tesco's fault, but the fault of the supplier, Moy Park, from whom it still buys chicken.
The Chairman was reminded that Tesco claims to have full traceabiliy on all of its meat and it was suggested that this claim was exposed as being untrue. He was again invited to apologise, but again he declined.