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Friday, September 30, 2011

Tesco unprepared to protect food security

Dear Andrew, 

Thank you for your reply to my email. Though I understand that you may find it difficult to comment on an issue as sensitive as this, it is not enough to state that that Tesco have a general policy of not making statements on these issues when your company has already made statements on biofuels. I refer you to the following:  

Terry Leahy said in the City Food Lecture (see

"A few years ago, governments offered subsidies to encourage farmers to plant biofuels, as a means of cutting carbon emissions. But by turning thousands of acres over to growing biofuels, forests were cleared and less land was available for other crops. The biofuels bonanza is estimated to account for 70 per cent of increase in corn prices and 40 per cent of the increase in soybean prices ."

"But the supermarket giant(Tesco)  tells ClimateChangeCorp it is now “reviewing the emerging evidence” about the impact of biofuels on food prices and the environment and may change its policy"

Tesco is clearly prepared to make statements on these issues - and we would therefore appreciate that you reconsider your position and make a clear statement on the impact that you perceive the move to biofuels by the aviation industry will have on your ability to maintain food supplies at affordable costs. As a measure of the importance of this, the move by the aviation industry will massively increase demand for biofuels far beyond current levels, which as Terry Leahy acknowledges, has already lead to food price rises. 

This email will be published on my blog.

We look forward to your reply.
Kevin Lister

--- On Fri, 30/9/11, Yeo, Andrew  wrote:

From: Yeo, Andrew
Subject: Biofuels in relation to Tesco
To: "Kevin Lister" , "Sarah Clayton"
Cc: "Gorrie, Angela Z"
Date: Friday, 30 September, 2011, 13:58

Kevin and Sarah,
Thank you for your respective emails on the response you are preparing to the consultation on the UK Government's sustainable aviation policy, and your request for a statement from Tesco.  We take our commitments to the environment very seriously, however we have a general policy not to make public statements of the sort you envisage, so we will not be able to contribute to your consultation response.
Best regards,  Andrew 

Andrew Yeo
Head of Supply Chain Carbon Reduction | Tesco plc
Mobile:  07957 805995

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