Tesco boycott Zimbabwean produce

Posted by Isobel Drake on 4th July 2008

Leading UK retailer Tesco has announced they will stop sourcing products from Zimbabwe until the political crisis in the country is resolved.

The amount of produce Tesco sources from Zimbabwe – worth around £1 million per year – is insignificant in terms of global trade and influence, but they still feel that given the current climate they can no longer receive any food from the African country. “This is a difficult decision to take,” a statement from Tesco claimed. “We have to date sought to balance wider political considerations against a desire to support our suppliers in Zimbabwe and enable them to support the workers who depend on that trade for their livelihoods. However, we cannot ignore the escalating political crisis in Zimbabwe, and the growing consensus in the international community – including from UK politicians on all sides – that further action must be taken to maximise the pressure for change.”

Tesco added that they would try to assist their Zimbabwean suppliers until the situation improved. “In these circumstances, we think the right decision is to stop sourcing products from Zimbabwe until there is an end to the current political crisis. We also attach a very high priority to ensuring that this decision does least harm to the workers and their dependents who have supplied us from Zimbabwe. We cannot continue to support them through trade, but are urgently finding ways to support them by other means.”

Tesco indicated that they will continue to review the situation and plan to re-engage with their suppliers once stability returns to the African nation.