Tesco has placed full page adverts in national newspapers admitting to its failings over the horsemeat scandal and pledging to work more closely with British farmers.

The huge adverts are spread over two pages and offer a stark and contrite text in 5cm-high red letters saying, “What burgers have taught us”.

On the facing page the supermarket says it has realised the horsemeat scandal is “about more than burgers and bolognese” and involves the whole food industry. It admits: “We really do need to make it better. We’ve been working on it but we need to keep going, go further, move quicker”.

Tesco adIt adds: “The more we work with British farmers the better.”

Citing sourcing only UK and Ireland beef as a way forward it has also pledged to source all of its fresh chicken from UK farms by July with no exceptions.

“We know that all this will only work if we are open about what we do. Seriously. This is it. We are changing.”
Tesco advert

The advert concludes with a promise to be more open and transparent in its dealings with suppliers and consumers.

“We know that all this will only work if we are open about what we do. Seriously. This is it. We are changing.”

The adverts came after Tesco chief executive Philip Clarke addressed the NFU Conference in Birmingham on 27 February.

Mr Clarke said the commitments the supermarket was making were a genuine shift in how Tesco sources the product it sells.

The adverts have been interpreted by some in the farming industry as suggesting that Mr Clarke’s speech was more than warm words.

Stating its intention to source more British meat so openly, meant that the farm industry would be able to hold the company to account.

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