Tim Smith

Tesco technical director Tim Smith, the former chief executive of the FSA, has announced he is to retire from the company at the end of this month.

Smith, who joined Tesco in 2012 after five years at the FSA helm, will continue to be an adviser to the retailer and represent the company in areas including food waste, in a new consultant role.

Smith has spent more 40 years in the industry, having previously had roles at producers Northern Foods, Sara Lee and Arla Foods.

At Tesco he played a key role in areas including its sugar reformulation programme, which saw the company slash the amount of sugar in products such as soft drinks, as well as its high-profile food waste initiatives with FareShare.

“Tim’s unrivalled experience and knowledge has been invaluable to us in recent years. He has provided wise counsel internally and been a trusted representative externally, particularly on building trusted relationships with suppliers and helping us to develop leading positions on agriculture, product development, food waste and health,” said Tesco commercial director Jason Tarry.

“Tim will continue to advise Tesco following his retirement on food policy and will also continue to represent Tesco in important areas including food waste.

“We wish him and his family all the best for the future.”

Smith’s departure from Tesco comes months after he spoke about the retailer’s pivotal new role in developing future food hygiene regulations on behalf of his old employer, the FSA.

Tesco has been leading a trial of a new self-regulatory model, claiming local authorities do not have enough “boots on the ground” to ensure food safety inspections are conducted properly.

This week, Food Standards Scotland announced similar moves to hand key retailers a greater role in regulation.

Smith’s decision to quit Tesco comes as the FSA is searching for a replacement for his successor.

Catherine Brown, who announced her shock decision to quit, in November. She leaves the agency next month.