Tesco stepped up its support for agriculture in Scotland today by stating that all fresh chicken sold north of the border will be 100% Scottish.
The commitment will see the retailer offer Scottish-reared chicken in each of its ranges including its Tesco core brand, Everyday Value, Finest and Organic. Each pack will be labelled with a Scottish Saltire.
Chickens will be reared to Tesco’s high welfare standards on more than 20 approved farms across Scotland. Indoor-reared birds will be fed on a balanced cereal diet and will be housed in large, naturally lit houses with bales and perches to encourage bird health and welfare.
The 100% Scottish range will be supplied to all 194 Tesco stores in Scotland by Tesco supplier 2 Sisters. The retailer expects the move will generate sales of around 200,000 Scottish reared chickens every week.
Derek Lawlor, director of meat, fish and poultry at Tesco said: “We know our Scottish customers enjoy the wide variety of fantastic local produce Scotland has to offer, so we are delighted to announce that all our fresh chicken in our Scottish stores will be sourced from Scotland.
“Earlier this year, we committed to sourcing more of the food we sell from closer to home, and our dedicated Scottish sourcing team, based here in Scotland, is playing an important part in that process.
“We’ve been working closely with Scottish farmers and suppliers from across Scotland, so that we can offer customers the best quality produce, including fresh Scottish chicken.”
Richard Lochhead, cabinet secretary for rural affairs and environment
said: “This welcome move will see about 200,000 chickens being bought every week from Scottish farmers and processed in Scotland, providing a major boost to the poultry sector. The products will also be marked with a saltire to highlight its Scottish credentials.
“Showcasing the provenance and origin of our food is vital at a time when traceability is high on the agenda, and consumers and producers alike will welcome the new commitment to increasing local sourcing from sources they can trust.
“Scottish produce is renowned locally and globally and consumers have confidence in it, so it’s important that the entire supply chain continues to build on that reputation and maximise new market opportunities.”
Nigel Miller, president of the National Farmers’ Union Scotland said: “Scottish chicken producers have a well- earned reputation for quality. Their birds are reared with great care in high welfare systems with the opportunity to perch and forage.
“Tesco’s commitment to put Scottish-reared chicken on its shelves gives their customers the guarantee of fantastic, tasty local produce. That commitment is great for the future of chicken farming in Scotland.”
Peter King, 2 Sisters spokesperson said: “Putting our customers and consumers at the heart of our business is what we do at 2 Sisters Food Group. Through closer collaboration with our farmers and Tesco, we are able to serve Scottish consumers with local Scottish sourced chicken, bred to high welfare standards, using approved farms which helps us to support the local supply chain.”