Tesco has warned suppliers it needs their help in driving quality, nutrition, labelling and more environmentally friendly packaging.
At its annual October supplier conference, commercial and trading director Richard Brasher told suppliers they all needed to do their bit to help people make healthier choices. Tesco's GDA labelling was working, he added, and he was happy to share that information with suppliers.
Brasher called for help to push the healthy message, as well as asking suppliers to look at using less packaging and enabling more recycling. Progress had been made in all areas addressed with suppliers at last year's conference, he said, including availability, ranges, promotions and improved communications.
Chief executive Sir Terry Leahy said listening to the customer rather than arguing about terms was vital.
One supplier said the tone of the event was positive. "Price was not a focus and nothing was said about slashing prices." However, while environmental and health messages dominated the agenda, Tesco clearly recognised that investing in price was still part of the game, he added.
"All retailers have said less about price in the past six to nine months. But it will be a tough year; it always is with Tesco."