TESCO £1.3 BILLION PROFIT SHOWS NEED FOR TRANSPARENCY ON MARGINS IN FOOD CHAIN

13 APRIL 2018

News that Tesco has just announced profits of £1.3 billion sterling further vindicates the ICSA call for transparency around the food chain and who makes what margins, according to ICSA president Patrick Kent. “It has been suggested that the Tesco chief executive has been extraordinarily successful in cutting costs. The question is how has this been achieved and have farmers and suppliers been squeezed as part of the strategy?”

“The answer is that we simply do not know but it is extremely frustrating to see such incredible success at the retail end of the food chain when many farmers in Ireland and the UK are struggling to afford to buy extra fodder to cope with the extreme weather.”

“It further proves that ICSA are right to call on the EU Commission to follow up on its Unfair Trading Practices proposals with additional legislation to achieve transparency in the food chain. Both consumers and primary producers have a right to see what margins are being made on key staples such as meat, dairy and vegetables. Farmers are constantly being pressurised to prove their sustainability credentials by society and increasingly by retailers. However, it is high time that the focus was put on whether it was sustainable to demand that farmers run faster just to stand still, that they produce more with less and that their incomes should continuously be squeezed.”

“EU consumers want high quality food, with high environmental and animal welfare standards. But this can only be feasible if farmers can make a sustainable margin from farming to EU standards and increasingly demanding retailer standards. We cannot move forward unless we have openness and transparency about how much farmers are contributing to the profits of companies like Tesco, and other retail giants as well as processors. The ability of Tesco to achieve a profit of £1.3 billion sterling is a timely reminder of the need for greater scrutiny and ICSA is demanding that the EU Commission focuses on this.”

ENDS