To Sir Terry Leahy,
I write as a shareholder and also as a member of `Westcountry Consumers For Honest Labelling (WCFHL). This group of consumers is initially based in Devon and are primarily ladies. I understand the group eventually intends to include Cornwall, Somerset and Dorset. WCFHL intends to work closely with local Trading Standards and the initial meeting with Mr. Roger Rivett and Mr. Ken Endacott of Devon County Council was very positive.
It is a month since the Guardian revealed that our company has been selling RSPCA Freedom Food chicken which were not as stated. I have not seen a retraction of the article and so I must assume this scandal to be true. Please could you provide answers to the following questions-:
- Has the issue been discussed at Board level?
- Has the Tesco employee or Director who allowed this situation to happen been identified and disciplined ?
- Is Tesco planning to prosecute Moy Park and is Tesco seeking compensation for damage to the Corporate name of our Company? I assume that Moy Park has already agreed to refund the difference in price between RSPCA Premium grade and standard grade on those chicken sold to Tesco.
- Tesco issued a statement saying that it has cancelled all its orders for chicken from Moy Park. How long will this refusal to do business with Moy Park continue?
- Will Clubcard holders, who were misled when they purchased these chickens, receive a rebate?
- How are the Directors of Tesco PLC going to repair the damage to our Company name? What steps have been put in place to ensure that Tesco labels tell the truth in future?
I would be grateful if you could address the above, point by point.
Corporate Social Responsibility Manager,
I am sure that you are aware that the good name of Tesco is very important to shareholders and I am sure that the issue of Moy Park chicken and the wider issue of labelling and the traceability of meat can be addressed before our AGM.
I had a meeting last week with Sir John Krebs and Suzie Leather of the Food Standards Agency and I will be submitting to them a full report on these issues when they have been resolved. I shall also forward a copy of the same report to each of the Tesco Board members. I am in touch with Felicity Lawrence of the Guardian and also the Farmers Weekly who are interested in the outcome.
I note in your reply to my original letter to Sir Terry Leahy that Tesco does not consider that it has failed over this issue. I find it amazing that for six months our company can sell `Tesco finest premium own label chicken bearing the RSPCA Freedom Food label, without any audit work on the supply chain and which therefore exposes the claim of full traceability on Tesco meat as being a sham.
It is unacceptable to say that this was an administrative error. Our company will not survive if we do not have the confidence of our customers. We claim that all our meat is fully traceable and that there are regular and vigorous audit inspections. This claim is blatantly not true and I believe that Tesco must open up its supply chain auditing to public scrutiny.
You mentioned in your reply that Tesco will not buy free range chickens from Moy Park until they reach Freedom Foods standards. The press office of Moy Park have recently confirmed to the press that they are currently selling Free Range chickens to Tesco. Please could you explain this contradiction.
We are told that the chickens with the false labels were withdrawn from all stores. Many consumers have heard that meat which has been withdrawn from supermarkets, is then repacked and sold again. Please could you explain Tescos policy on meat that has been withdrawn from sale?
- Is it destroyed on site at the store under the supervision of a member of management?
- Is it returned to the supplier and if so, what protocols are in place to ensure that it is not repacked for further sale?
Thanking you for your assistance in these important matters.