food traceability inventory


Tesco food safety compliance food packers and manufacturers
Tesco food safety compliance for food manufacturers, packers, import, export, wholesale.

Tesco food safety compliance food packers and manufacturers

Tesco food safety compliance for food manufacturers, packers, import, export, wholesale.

Tesco food safety compliance
Tesco food safety compliance food packers and manufacturers

Tesco customers expect us to only sell products made to the highest quality and that are responsibly sourced. They trust us to ensure that all our products are safe and comply with all the applicable laws and regulations.

Within Tesco we have a number of highly skilled teams and colleagues across the globe that are dedicated to ensuring our customer expectations are not only met but exceeded. They manage the quality of products from the original product concept right through to our stores and customers.

Although this page is based on our UK business, a similar approach is taken across our international markets whilst ensuring all legal and cultural differences are acknowledged and catered for.

Tesco food safety compliance food packers and manufacturers

By understanding customers, their needs and wider market trends, our expert team of developers work hard to bring great quality, innovative and good value products to the market.

Through understanding customers and their needs, product and market trends our expert team of developers work hard to bring great quality, innovative and value for money products to the market; our dedicated team of food researchers and chefs constantly review food trends and bring new food ideas to life to meet those customer needs.

Tesco Food Manufacturing Standard (TFMS). This standard has been developed to outline the requirements to which manufacturers must comply in order to begin supplying, and thereafter continue supplying Tesco, either directly or indirectly. The standards support our commitment to ensuring all Tesco brand products are safe, meet legal requirements, and always meet customer expectations with respect to quality, provenance and responsible sourcing, building trust in the Tesco brand and supply chain.

We have an extensive programme of new product development; across food we launched over 1,300 lines in 2019. We also have a product improvement programme for current products for quality, health, helpfulness and responsible sourcing with almost 3,000 redeveloped.

We believe it is essential for colleagues to understand our products so they can have meaningful conversations with customers, and regular share our product innovation with colleagues with 10,000 visits to one of our sampling events in Heart in 2019.

Working with our other teams in the business (Buying, Technical and Brand) and our supplier partners, our Development Team ensure Own Brand products are great quality but also meet legal and safety requirements. This means that we regularly review products both before and after launch. For example, all of our new general merchandise seasonal ranges go through a combination of customer panels, benchmarking, user trials and safety testing before production began. In food, regular benchmarking, market reviews and customer panels help to inform our product improvement programme.

Not only do we want to develop innovative products that customers want, we also have teams dedicated to ensuring the products developed are the best they possibly can be. A good example of this is the work our Nutrition Team does to support the food business.

The Nutrition Team support across a wide number of both business functions and external stakeholders to promote and ensure adherence to the overall Tesco health agenda for both customers and colleagues. They achieve this by:

  • Supporting our Technical and Development Teams create food and drinks which are of excellent quality, comprising of ingredients customers expect and challenging the levels of salt, fat, sugar and calories where appropriate. More information on this can be found on our website.
  • Engaging with a wider external network of nutrition and health professionals within the food industry, health charities (Diabetes UK, British Heart Foundation, Cancer Research, Anaphylaxis UK, Coeliac UK) and government (Public Health England and Department of Health).
  • Actively engaging as members of industry working groups such as the Consumer Goods Forum and IGD’s Industry Nutrition Strategy Group with the focus of encouraging the food industry to improve diets and health.
  • Supporting wider health activities around the business such as ensuring recipes meet our expectation of healthy and that we instil accurate dietary messages through our health campaigns for customer and colleagues.
  • Driving action to promote health to all our customers from babies, with our new nutritious baby food range, to those with specific dietary needs.
  • Helping to harness technology to guide healthier diets. Our online grocery website has a wide variety of search filters to help customers select products suited for dietary needs, including low salt, high fibre, vegan, low sugar. We help ensure that the correct criteria is used for these filters and which align with customers’ expectations.

Labelling and Packaging

Tesco food safety compliance
Tesco food safety compliance food packers and manufacturers

Labelling and packaging is essential to communicate all the necessary information to our customers so they can make informed choices on the products they are purchasing. For example, in our food business the declaration of ingredients and allergens is a primary focus.

\Our Labelling Team support a wide number of business functions and external stakeholders to ensure the labelling information we provide customers is always honest and fair, and does not mislead. They achieve this by:

  • Supporting our Technical Teams to ensure our labelling information complies with our labelling policies, and working with the Brand and Design teams to ensure new brands comply with all relevant labelling legislation.
  • Engaging with a wider external network of labelling professionals within the food industry and government to monitor food labelling legislation and promote best practice.
  • Actively engaging as members of industry working groups to ensure consistent implementation of food labelling law.

In order to ensure our product labels are legal, every artwork is reviewed and approved before sending to the supplier for production. In 2019 we signed off 9550 packaging artworks alone for the food business.

The materials used in our packaging is also a primary focus of Tesco. In recent months there has been a great deal of public interest in the reduction of the use of plastics in product packaging and we have made a commitment reduce the amount used across our whole business.

Tesco food safety compliance food packers and manufacturer supplier audit

Not only do we take great care in developing the right products for our customers but we take great pride in the factories that manufacture them for us. Tesco has developed industry leading manufacturing standards that cover all the Own Brand products we sell and we work tirelessly with our suppliers to ensure they are complied with. The standards are reviewed on a regular basis to ensure all industry and legislative advancements are included.

Tesco food safety compliance
Tesco food safety compliance food packers and manufacturers

We also run a bespoke due diligence audit programme that offers documented evidence of compliance to our standards and a way to monitor continual improvement. We work with external audit partners to complete the audit. Across all product areas we have a team of over 100 external auditors that are all experts within various industries. For example, our food auditors have one or more of 24 bespoke competencies from meat and dairy to thermal processing; within our non-food audit team we have cosmetics, electrical, engineering and toy experts; within our clothing audit team we have auditors that have extensive backgrounds in both the textiles and footwear industries.

Before a site can begin manufacturing Tesco products they must first show us they have both the capacity and capability to produce safe, legal and quality products. This is achieved through the site working with our Technical Teams to ensure all relevant processes and controls are in place and passing an approval audit. A site must attain an acceptable grade against all of the requirements within the relevant Tesco Standard. In 2019 we completed 371 approval audits with 360 of these going on to become Tesco suppliers.

After a site is approved we ensure ongoing compliance through our maintenance audit programme. For the majority of sites the audit occurs on an annual basis and for sites supplying Tesco UK these audits are either fully unannounced or semi announced depending on global location. In 2019 we have completed nearly 2000 maintenance audits across our global supplier base supplying both our UK and International stores with 75% achieving between a satisfactory and excellent score.

It is not only our direct suppliers that we audit. At Tesco we understand the complexity and associated risks within entire supply chains. Therefore we’re starting long term plans to audit, based on risk, throughout our supply chains:

  • Fresh produce - we work in collaboration with Global Gap ( and Red Tractor to perform Nurture programme audits at our grower farms focussing on the responsible use of pesticides in fresh produce farming. In 2019 we had 11,700 Nurture certified growers.
  • Meat – In 2019 we conducted over 850 animal welfare and meat traceability audits per year. More information can be found on our website.

F&F clothing – we have streamlined supply chains and identified all of the packaging, tannery and mill sites.

More information on the work our Responsible Sourcing Team does with suppliers to protect the environment and ensure human rights are respected can be found on or website.

Testing Programme

Tesco food safety compliance
Tesco food safety compliance

We have well-established and comprehensive food safety management systems throughout Tesco and every day we monitor and check the quality and safety of our food. We have a routine testing programme through which Tesco products are regularly tested by independent expert laboratories to make sure that they are safe, legal and meet our exacting quality specifications. In 2019 we completed testing on the following number of samples across a variety of food products:

  • Microbiological testing: 5930 samples
  • Chemical (Nutrition) testing: 6664 samples
  • Authenticity & Contaminants testing: 1934 samples

All non-food products are subjected to a pre-shipment inspection at the factory by either a Tesco colleague, trained factory employee or an approved 3rd party. These inspections include ensuring the product is of the expected quality level as well as safety and legality checks.

Food Safety in our Stores

We not only take care of our product during manufacture but develop robust product safety policies, training and store standards to ensure the safety, legality and quality of products is maintained right through to the customer’s home.

Tesco has an experienced Operational Risk Team who support our stores in ensuring our customers have a good shopping experience, in a safe and compliant environment. In the UK alone, there are a team of 13 field based Environmental Health Experts, whose day to day role takes them throughout the country to support with environmental or food safety issues in our stores. Their roles include collaborating with local authority regulatory officers, ensuring the legality of our food products and processes, driving improvements to store standards and coaching our retail leaders on safe and legal compliance.

All store colleagues are trained in food safety and hygiene and, depending on their role, receive further training and refresher training on a scheduled plan. For example, colleagues who work in the fresh foods and produce departments will also have product training to help them understand the great quality of our products and how to look after them. Store colleagues then put this training into practice on a daily basis ensuring all safety and legality checks are completed.

The store support teams also provide some 'What Good Looks Like guides' for colleagues, to help them look after the products and feel confident in answering customer queries. Colleagues have a 'Would I Buy It' assessment to ensure the quality of the product meets the customer expectations while they are in the care of the store.

To date:

  • Over 10,000 store colleagues have completed Gold Food Safety Training
  • Over 93,000 have completed Legal One Training - This training includes modules on Health & Safety, Age Restricted Sales, Fire Safety and Being Responsible in Retail
  • Over 81,000 have completed the Legal Two Training – This training includes all of the above plus a module on Food Safety

Our store standards are very important to us and we have a store audit programme to support the consistent standard of operations expected by our customers and drive continuous improvement. We use an independent third party to audit our stores against an internal set of requirements.

As part of the continuous drive for transparency with our customers we are committed to displaying all of our store Food Hygiene Ratings. We are the leading supermarket in the display of Food Hygiene Rating scores with all UK stores proudly displaying their rating results since August 2014.

Withdrawals and Recalls

Tesco food safety compliance
Tesco food safety compliance food packers and manufacturers

Although we work tirelessly to ensure the safety, legality and quality of our product there are times when a product needs to be withdrawn from sale or potentially recalled. The reason for a product to be withdrawn from sale or recalled are numerous and we are always actively working with suppliers and stores to reduce the number of occurrences we have. Since 2015 we have seen an almost 50% drop in the number of products we have had to withdraw from our stores. However, when a withdrawal or recall does need to be actioned, we work with all relevant authorities and more widely in the industry to ensure that we do the right thing for our customers.

Details of products which are being recalled as precaution for safety reasons are communicated to stores and our customers We  publish recall information on our Grocery Home Shopping website ( and on social media (Facebook and Twitter) to ensure our customers are aware and are able to return the product to us. We also communicate recalls through the Food Standards Agency or other stakeholders. All product incidents are then reviewed and learnings fed into the product development process, closing the loop and ensuring we continually manage, monitor and improve the delivery of safe, legal and quality products to our customers.

Aldi organic standards cover all aspects of Aldi organic food certification including product and packaging, animal welfare, wildlife conservation and ban unnecessary and harmful food additives in organic processed foods.

Aldi organic packing standards not only meet national government's minimum requirements but exceed them. Aldi offers a range of organic products for customers who support organic methods of farming. In 2015, the UK had 39 Organic products and Ireland 32. Read more about Aldi food safety standards.

Tesco supports UK potato growers, by selling surplus stocks

More potatoes will hit shelves from this week to meet soaring demand.

UK potato growers who have been left with surplus stock because of the closure of restaurants and fast food outlets are being given a helping hand by Tesco.

Tesco food safety compliance
Tesco food safety compliance food packers and manufacturers

The closure of restaurants, pubs and many fast food outlets has left a major surplus of particular varieties that are made into chips, which potato growers cannot now easily sell on.

Now Tesco has teamed up with potato supplier Branston to take these potatoes that were previously destined for the catering trade.

These ‘chipping varieties’ may have some skin blemishes but are perfectly delicious. They will be sold as part of Tesco’s ‘Perfectly Imperfect’ range.

The bags will carry a sticker stating ‘I’m not looking my normal gorgeous self but I still taste great, buy me and support British farmers’.

Since March Tesco has seen increased demand for potatoes, with an average rise of 30 per cent across UK stores.

Tesco Potato Buying Manager Ben Rowbotham said: “Taking these surplus potatoes not only helps meet the extra demand at the moment but also supports growers at a time when many are facing a real struggle to keep their businesses going.

“The varieties are mainly ones used for making chips, so while they might not look as cosmetically perfect as others they will still be delicious and excellent for pan frying, sautéing, making potato wedges and other dishes.

“These potatoes will have stickers on them to show that we are committed to supporting British farmers through difficult times.”

Each year a third of all UK-grown potatoes are destined for the crisp industry or to be turned into chips.

The products that these potatoes will be going into are Tesco White potatoes 2.5kg, Tesco Baking potatoes 2.5kg and Perfectly Imperfect potatoes 2.5kg

Branston Commercial Director, Richard Clark said: “We are working with Tesco to support our potato growers and ensure we honour our existing contracts with them. We now have the opportunity to get additional types of potatoes too, which would have otherwise been destined for chip shops and restaurants.”

The potatoes start arriving at Tesco stores this week.

Tesco food safety compliance
Tesco food safety compliance food packers and manufacturers

For more information:
Tel: +44 (0) 800 505555

Tesco signs long-term citrus deal with AMC Group

Tesco has launched a major new partnership with AMC Group for the supply of citrus fruit. The five-year deal, the first for Tesco produce, builds upon a twenty year relationship between the two businesses.

AMC Group supplies citrus fruit to Tesco globally and under the new deal, AMT Fruit Ltd, a business dedicated to Tesco is being created. AMT Fruit Ltd will supply lemons, limes, satsumas, clementines, tangerines, oranges and grapefruit offering Tesco customers the highest quality citrus fruit. The partnership will also look to deliver new exciting ranges and produce to Tesco customers and the best varieties in the market through AMC's varietal development and breeding programme, Citrus Genesis.

Alvaro Munoz, CEO of AMC Group said: “This five year agreement is fantastic news for us, growers and Tesco customers. As a third generation family owned business, we’re proud to provide the best quality citrus for people to enjoy. The new strengthened partnership means Tesco customers will enjoy the freshest possible products and will allow us to invest in our breeding programmes. Tesco customers can look forward to seeing the newest and best varieties in their shops.”

Darren Clough, Produce Sourcing Director at Tesco said: “We’re delighted to have signed a five year deal with AMC Group and know that we’re at our best working in partnership with our suppliers. This long-term deal will allow us to work directly with growers from around the world and give AMC the security to innovate and invest in new and exciting products for our customers.”

Supplying potatoes and onions in a €62.5 million deal

Irish potato supplier signs deal with Tesco

Country Crest, the Dublin-based fresh food business, has extended its contract to supply potatoes and onions to Tesco in a €62.5 million deal over the next two and a half years.

Tesco food safety compliance
Tesco food safety compliance food packers and manufacturers

The company, run by brothers Gabriel and Michael Hoey, has signed a deal to supply the supermarket chain with 36,000 tonnes annually of own-brand potatoes, onions and sweet potatoes until September 2022. Country Crest also sources supplies for the retailer from a further 50 farmers. Tesco and its supplier said the deal would give “confidence” to those growers.

“This offers our business, our work colleagues and our network of professional growers some very welcome security into the future,” said Gabriel Hoey.

Country Crest, which has been a supplier of Tesco for two decades, employs 120 staff, and its north Dublin production and packing facility. Hoey Agri, the parent company of Country Crest, had sales last year of €54.7 million and made a profit of €2.8 million.

Tesco has been keen to highlight efforts it has made to support Irish food suppliers since the Covid-19 crisis spawned a liquidity crisis for Irish SMEs last month. The retailer said it “is very conscious of the pressure that the agri-business sector is under due to Covid-19, with non-retail markets disappearing for several sectors”.


Tesco Compliance Elearning

15th December 2020

Thousands of Tesco employees worldwide take the specially designed Learning Leap every year as part of an award-winning compliance campaign delivering unprecedented levels of engagement.

Tesco runs an annual training programme, covering key compliance areas. The company was looking for a new way to make the experience better for its workforce and more effective for the business, and they wanted to make an impact.

Why did Tesco need global compliance training?

Like any large retailer, there are strict regulations to comply with. Previous compliance elearning courses at Tesco had not always been fully effective, with staff saying that they were too long, unengaging and, at times, not relevant to their role. With 11 countries to reach in just six weeks, the challenge was on to motivate staff and improve mandatory compliance training across the company.

Tesco were facing a few key challenges that we needed to consider:

  • Reaching a large global workforce in a tight timescale
  • Motivating employees to engage with the training
  • Helping staff remember what they learn for longer
Tesco food safety compliance food packers and manufacturers
Tesco food safety compliance food packers and manufacturers


David Ward

"We wanted to introduce a completely new training programme, one that would be engaging for staff, relevant to their work and have a positive effect on their behaviour."

How did Sponge deliver rapid global compliance for Tesco Elearning?

Our vision for Tesco was ‘Learning Leap’ – a business-wide campaign to help employees embed good compliance behaviours in their daily work. The starting point was a detailed review of the feedback from staff on previous compliance elearning. They described the old training as ‘laborious’, ‘too long’ and ‘irrelevant’ while others complained the training was viewed as a once a year event and there was nothing to help refresh their knowledge.

At the heart of Learning Leap is a fun and easy to understand narrative. Using this engaging framework, a whole campaign around bite-sized modules was created.

Branded emails and other marketing communications encourage staff to take part. A real-time, animated leaderboard shows the number of learners at each stage of the training. It gives managers a visual update on progress and encourages healthy competition. The first finishers get a reward and line managers receive weekly emails telling them how well their team is doing. As part of this communication, managers can click on the names of those not yet completed and contact them directly with encouragement and support.

Once the main modules are completed, employees receive bi-monthly emails, known as ‘PiPs’, or ‘Putting into Practice’. These microlearning quizzes relate to the course topics and link to web pages containing further feedback and job aids. PiPs reinforce the learning and provide an opportunity for people to put their training into practice. Learning Leap continues as an annual programme and remains Tesco’s flagship compliance programme.

Tesco food safety compliance food packers and manufacturers


David Ward

"This suite of elearning modules has transformed the way in which we deliver compliance training at Tesco. During a four-week period, we were able to successfully train thousands of staff members."

The results showed a giant leap ahead in global compliance training:

  • 98% completion rate
  • Head office workforce training completed in record time
  • 92% prefer Learning Leap to previous training

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