Tesco makes new longer-term commitment to potato growers

Tesco has announced it will issue longer-term contracts with British potato growers and packers worth £12 million over three years.

Image: David Wright (CC BY 2.0)
Image: David Wright (CC BY 2.0)

Made up of producers and industry experts, the Tesco Sustainable Farming Group - Potatoes (TSFG-Potatoes), will strengthen relationships through the supply chain give growers greater financial certainty, allowing them to invest in their businesses for the future, the retailer said.

Tesco's commercial director for fresh food Matt Simister said: "Working collaboratively with our suppliers to ensure we provide the highest quality fresh produce for our customers is right at the heart of what we do.

"Whilst there isn't a single simple solution to resolve the uncertainty faced by many potato growers, it's important that we all play our part. These new contracts will help to bring more confidence back into the whole potato supply chain and build a truly sustainable British potato industry."

From September, producers will be given direct contracts with Tesco and a three-year rolling commitment which will guarantee in advance the volume of the crop that the supermarket will buy.

TSFG growers will also receive a price based on farming inputs like the cost of fertiliser, other production costs and inflation. Tesco hopes the scheme will pave the way for other retailers to work more collaboratively with growers, it said.

NFU horticulture and potatoes adviser Lee Abbey said: "The NFU welcomes initiatives that provide a greater level of security, confidence and transparency to growers and we're pleased that Tesco has followed through its commitment, first announced at the NFU conference in 2014, to develop a dedicated potato contract.

"The TSFG is a great example of how collaboration can work and it fits very much within the principles of the NFU's Fruit & Veg Pledge."

Fife potato grower Crawford Black said: "These new three-year rolling contracts will give my family business more confidence to look further ahead, make plans and invest for the future, safe in the knowledge that we have a long-term commitment from Tesco to continue to work with us."


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