Tesco CEO Dave Lewis has urged the whole supply chain to work in partnership to change the way it produces food for the UK, challenging industry to come together to bring about “heavy duty, transformational change”.

Delivering a keynote speech at the annual City Food Lecture, which took place at Guildhall on 28th February and was attended by producers, retailers, wholesalers, farmers and their representative bodies, Lewis urged the audience to do this by focusing the debate on “the 95% of what we agree on, not the 5% we don’t”.

In his speech, Lewis commented: “The UK food industry has done a great job of feeding the nation though many challenges. But the challenges we face today are complex and evolving. To overcome them, we must seize the future and change.

“Not simple incremental change, but heavy duty transformational change. The sort of change that means we all have to bring our expertise together and work in a very different way. To feed all of our nation, in a sustainable, affordable, healthy way.”

Lewis highlighted a number of areas where Tesco is already working in partnership with suppliers, Government and other organisations to collaborate more effectively, including farming and agriculture, with the retailer’s ten Sustainable Farming Groups in areas including dairy, pork, lamb, poultry and eggs; health, including its five-year partnership with Cancer Research UK, British Heart Foundation and Diabetes UK; and food waste, including Tesco’s commitment to measure and publish its own food waste data and its work to ensure no food fit for human consumption is waste in its own operations by the end of February 2018.

City Food Lecture is organised by the seven livery companies involved with agriculture and food.