However, chair of the EFRA Committee, the Tiverton & Honiton MP Neil Parish, has written to company ceo Ranjit Singh Boparan, calling the gesture “inappropriate” and describing it as an “unwarranted attempt to impugn the committee’s impartiality”.
He said committee members had not welcomed the gifts and they were either donated to local charity or returned to 2 Sisters.
The committee was responsible for grilling Boparan in an all-day probe on October 25, 2017 after an undercover press investigation by The Guardian and ITV News made allegations of health and safety breaches at 2 Sisters’ West Bromwich plant. The plant temporarily ceased production of 200,000kg of chicken portions a day following the revelations, but reopened in November.
At the time Parish said he had been “hugely concerned” about the impact on the supply chain, as both 2 Sisters and other operators could be “ruined”.
A spokesman for 2 Sisters said that each gift was around eight packets of Fox’s and own-label biscuits, in addition to two tins or boxes of Fox’s biscuits.
He added that the contents were standard supermarket biscuits such as crunch creams and Viennese slices, which retail for around £1, while the tins of assorted Fox’s biscuits could range from £2 to £3.
“The total retail value of the gift was around £20,” the spokesman said.
“The business sends these out every year as a goodwill gesture at Christmas.”
He said that 2 Sisters had responded formally to Parish.
Earlier this month, it was revealed that 2 Sisters Food Group owner Boparan Holdings had agreed to sell its Goodfella’s Pizza for £199M to Birds Eye owner Nomad Foods.