* UK's No. 1 retailer promises "world class" food testing
* Plans set out in blog from CEO Clarke
* Company will build new website to highlight testing
By James Davey
LONDON, Feb 15 Tesco, Britain's biggest
supermarket chain, has responded to the scandal of horsemeat
being sold as beef with a pledge to offer customers insight into
its global supply chain.
Regulators and companies in the food industry have been
rushing to deal with issues thrown up by the crisis and ease
consumer concerns about food quality.
In a blog on Friday, Tesco Chief Executive Philip Clarke
promised to provide customers with a window to the workings of
its suppliers, providing visibility and transparency to restore
confidence in the provenance of its food.
He said the group, criticised in the past for squeezing the
profit margins of suppliers, would establish a "world class"
traceability and DNA testing system and build a new website that
will showcase its tests.
"We pledge that over the weeks and months ahead, we will
open up our supply chain and give you more information than any
retailer has before to enable you to make informed choices about
the food you buy," said Clarke.
He said customers must have confidence "that if it isn't on
the label, it isn't in the product."
Tesco declined to say how much this would cost.
However, Clarke did say: "Let me be clear, this doesn't mean
more expensive food."
The horsemeat scandal, which has triggered product recalls
and damaged confidence across Europe's food industry, erupted
last month when tests carried out in Ireland revealed that some
beef products also contained horsemeat.
Two Tesco products were found to contain horse: Everyday
Value beefburgers and frozen Everyday Value Spaghetti Bolognese.
As the scandal continued to spread on Friday, the president
of French meat processor Spanghero promised to disprove
allegations that his firm knowingly sold horsemeat labelled as
To view Philip Clarke's video blog, click on: