Tesco CEO discusses supermarket’s response to 2 Sisters allegations
Tesco’s chief executive, Dave Lewis, has stood behind the retailer’s decision to suspend orders from 2 Sisters Food Group’s West Bromwich site following allegations regarding the manufacturer.
Speaking to an ITV journalist this week, Lewis defended the retailer’s decision to suspend orders from the factory after its rivals, including Marks and Spencer, Aldi, Lidl and Sainsbury’s also put a stop to supplies from the site.
When asked why the other supermarkets put a stop to supplies before Tesco also did so, Lewis told ITV News at Ten that the supermarket decided to launch an investigation and verify the accusations before taking action.
He said: “Our decision was to launch an investigation, we went with the Food Standards Agency; we take the allegation, but then we need to verify it, with all due respect, and that’s what we did.”
He added: “We have investigated and audited all of the other sites that we take chicken from as a precaution, based on what it is you have raised, so that we’re confident that all the chicken that we’re taking is absolutely to the right quality.”
An undercover reporter for ITV News and the Guardian who worked at the 2 Sisters site recently filmed staff members allegedly using chicken drumsticks that had been packaged for Lidl to top up the Willow Farms “exclusively for Tesco” production line.
Asked by the ITV journalist whether it was time for the brand to be scrapped, Lewis backed it explaining: “We launched the Willow Farms brand as an exclusive brand to Tesco.
“The critical thing is the brand is exclusive to Tesco and the quality specification that needs to go in that brand is consistent across all of its sourcing.”