Tesco has confirmed that it will introduce an accelerated and enhanced payment plan that will see its suppliers increase payments to farmers by £6.6 million. The new funding will be available until August.

In a statement, Tesco said that this new action will bring its support for farmers to a total of £10 million since the start of March 2022. The retailer has also pledged to work with its suppliers to ensure the investment gets passed to farmers as quickly as possible.

At the beginning of May, chairman of the National Pig Association (NPA) Rob Mutimer wrote to Tesco chief executive Ken Murphy asking the retailer to do more to support the pig industry, with most of the big UK retailers having already taken steps to get more money to producers.

Tesco said it has been supporting the industry since the turn of the year to help tackle the other major challenge it’s faced by stepping forward and taking more pigs to help clear the backlog of animals on British farms. It added that, since January 2022, it has taken an extra 32,000 pigs, and plans to take a further extra 22,000 in the months ahead.

Tesco point out that the support follows several initiatives designed to help British pig farmers and boost the amount of British pork in Tesco stores. Measures include:

  • Adding more fresh British pork products in store – five lines have recently been moved to British supply in recent weeks.
  • Introducing an additional 15 pork promotions in store for customers since January.
  • Launching an ‘I Love British’ brand in its bacon range, with a ham product launching later this month. As part of the brand, a 5p per pack contribution will be passed onto farmers in the supply chain.
  • The continued growth of Tesco’s Finest range of pork products, including fresh pork, sausages, bacon and cooked meat products which are all RSPCA Assured and Red Tractor certified.
  • The retailer has increased its British Pork products by 30% compared to last year.

Over the longer-term, Tesco says it has committed to reviewing pricing on a more frequent basis, providing more flexibility for farmers when market prices change.