The retailer follows the lead of supermarkets Aldi, Lidl and Co-op that have already signed up to the plan.
The NFU pledge champions best practice in the fresh produce sector and is designed to cultivate strong and long lasting relationships between retailers and growers.
It has seen Tesco agree to a range of steps that include treating suppliers fairly, reducing food waste, paying suppliers on time and committing to buy more British fruit and veg when it is in season.
Redefine its relationship with suppliers
Tesco said the move builds on a range of steps it has already taken to redefine its relationship with suppliers over the past three years.
Tesco has also committed to support The Food Foundation’s Peas Please initiative, which is focused on making it easier for people to eat more vegetables.
As part of this agreement Tesco has pledged to prioritise increasing the amount of vegetables when developing recipes and introducing new products. It also means that more vegetable options are included in evening meal deals. Its Finest evening meal deal now always includes two vegetable side dish options.
More vegetable options
The retailer said it would also work with its suppliers to develop new products to increase overall consumption of vegetables.
“We’re proud to celebrate our partnerships with British farmers and growers by signing the NFU’s Fruit & Veg Pledge, which highlights both our commitment to British agriculture and healthy products. British farmers and growers produce fantastic quality food and we believe if we invest in them for the long-term, our customers will enjoy better quality, affordable food today and tomorrow,” said Tesco’s chief product officer Jason Tarry.
“Signing The Food Foundation’s Peas Please pledge also underlines our commitment to help our customers make healthier choices by making it easier to eat more vegetables, which in turn helps support our British farmers and growers too.”
Tesco’s commitment to the NFU’s Fruit & Veg Pledge
- Treat all suppliers fairly, at all times and in accordance with the Groceries Supply Code of Practice.
- Build long-term relationships with growers that offer greater certainty and stability.
- Offer production programmes as far in advance as possible of the crop being required (ideally one year) with a commitment to purchase a proportion of the crop at a previously agreed price when it is ready to harvest.
- Offer greater price certainty to growers – either for a season, or on a specified volume of product, with no unexpected, unilaterally imposed changes.
- Pay all suppliers on time, in full and always consult with them in advance of any changes to payment terms and conditions.
- Seek to plan promotional activity in advance with growers and seek to adopt a flexible, production led approach to the timing of promotions as much as possible to help manage supply and demand.
- Reduce wastage, eliminate costs and add more value to the supply chain by seeking out opportunities to utilise the whole crop and adopting realistic product specifications.
- Communicate directly with grower suppliers so that they can better understand consumers’ needs and make informed production decisions. Better understand the production challenges that growers’ face and be flexible to changes in supply.
- Seek to adopt a joined up business plan across all aspects of the business and throughout the supply chain so that retail buyers, intermediaries and growers are working together towards common goals for the fresh produce category.
- Seek to innovate jointly and improve customer proposition in a collaborative manner.
- When in season, commit to increasing the proportion of British fruit and vegetables that are available for consumers to buy.
- Contribute to investment in horticultural research, development and product innovation that benefits consumers.