retail news in context, analysis with attitude

The BBC reports that Tesco CEO Philip Clarke said yesterday that the retailer will buy and sell more British beef, in the wake of the horse meat scandal that has created real food safety and labeling questions about beef sold throughout Europe.

The story notes that a recent survey suggested that 78 percent of british citizens want to buy more British products.

Clarke also said that the company has instituted a new testing process designed to ascertain that products are what the labels say they are.

"Speaking to the BBC, Mr Clarke said he could not guarantee 'right now today' that all of Tesco's products contained exactly what was on the label, but 'that is our objective', he added. 'I'm sure that we will be able to say that in the future, once the testing regime is completely in place'."
KC's View:
I am more convinced with every passing day that this problem is going to pop up in the US, and soon ... and that it will almost certainly involved products being imported from elsewhere. (Let's see how that changes the whole "country of origin labeling" discussion...)

BTW...I was fascinated to see a report in Ireland's Independent saying that the Irish company that originally found horse meat in beef products had as one of its original investors Feargal Quinn, the iconic Irish retailer and current a member of that nation's Senate.

According to the story, "Newly-released Seanad documents show he has been an investor in Identigen – which carried out the DNA testing on frozen beef burgers for the Food Safety Authority of Ireland.

"Mr Quinn said he had come across the company more than a decade ago during his time in charge of Superquinn.

"He said he had been so impressed with its DNA tracing system for the supermarket's fresh beef that he decided to invest in the firm."

However, Quinn sold his shares in the company last year, the story says.