Tesco’s decision to stop stocking Silver Spoon is “short-sighted” as Brexit negotiations loom, says MP
- Credit: Staff
The Bury St Edmunds MP has criticised Tesco’s chief executive for the company’s “short-sighted” decision to stop selling sugar produced in the UK as Brexit negotiations loom.
Silver Spoon sugar is processed from sugar beet, grown in the UK, whereas Tate & Lyle uses cane sugar grown overseas.
As the country prepares to enter Brexit negotiations with the European Union, Mrs Churchill said Tesco should be looking at providing goods in a “homegrown and sustainable way”.
“British Sugar, as you are aware, is the sole British producer of sugar,” she wrote to Tesco boss Dave Lewis. “Their processes cover four factories in the east of England, including one in the heart of my Bury St Edmunds constituency. By supporting 9,500 jobs across East Anglia, including 700 local sugar farmers, British Sugar is not only an asset to our rural economy, but is symbolic of homegrown produce.”
She said the decision to withdraw Silver Spoon from Tesco shelves was “disappointing” as it removed the choice for consumers. She told Mr Lewis this decision was at odds with Tesco’s objective of “collaborating with our suppliers”, adding it made the partnership appear “somewhat of a token gesture”.
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At the time the news broke, Tesco would only say: “Our aim is to always provide the best possible quality and prices to our customers. We continue to scrutinise any proposed cost increases from our suppliers to avoid any unjustified or unnecessary increases in price.”
Mrs Churchill said she could not argue with the company’s business premise to deliver the best deal for customers. However, she added: “It is important for shoppers to see UK produce, especially where it is local, available to them on our supermarket shelves.”
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She said British Sugar had a “significant part to play” determining the future of the farming sector.
“Therefore, your decision strikes me as somewhat short-sighted and fails to ensure we provide the goods we require in a homegrown and sustainable way; a matter I would not wish to be overlooked as we enter Brexit negotiations.”