Tesco butcher beef

Tesco has relaunched its Sustainable Farming Group for beef nearly two years after the group last met.

The revival means Tesco now has 10 Sustainable Farming Groups, covering dairy, pork, lamb, poultry, eggs and fresh produce as well as beef.

The groups, which give farmers a forum to discuss sustainable production, Tesco’s quality specifications and other aspects of the supply chain, had played an important role in securing supply, increasing efficiency and improving animal welfare, Tesco said.

It comes as the retailer announced a multimillion pound investment in the UK’s Aberdeen Angus herd, awarding new yearlong contracts to 1,600 farmers guaranteeing above-standard market rate for their beef.

The farmers supply 28-day aged beef for all the retailer’s beef steaks, mince and joints in its top tier Finest range.

“These new contracts and the reformation of our Sustainable Farming Group for beef strengthens the partnerships we have with our farmers and means they can build their businesses and invest for the future, while providing our customers with the best quality British beef,” said George Wright, commercial director for fresh food at Tesco.

NFU chief livestock adviser John Royle welcomed the move to offer long-term contracts, saying they provided ”much-needed confidence and security” helping to mitigate price volatility at the farmgate.

“This contract adds another option to the market for producers to consider and will also increase the information flow between farmers and retailers,” he added.