Tesco stops sourcing from Zimbabwe

The international marketing magazine for fresh produce buyers in Europe
Mike Knowles

BY MIKE KNOWLES

@mikefruitnet

Tesco stops sourcing from Zimbabwe

Retailer cuts supply amid growing international pressure but says it remains committed to helping growers and exporters "by other means"

Tesco stops sourcing from Zimbabwe

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Tesco has decided to stop sourcing products including vegetables from Zimbabwe as international pressure on the Mugabe regime continues to grow. 

In a statement, the company said that, although its £1m trade with the country may be "insignificant in terms of trade and influence", it could not ignore the escalating political crisis in Zimbabwe and the growing consensus among the international community that further pressure must be brought to bear on Mr Mugabe.

"This is a difficult decision to take," the company said. "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. 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."

The group also said it hoped the decision's effect on its Zimbabwean suppliers would be minimal. "We cannot continue to support them through trade, but are urgently finding ways to support them by other means," it said.

Tesco said it would keep the situation under review. "Our aim is to re-engage with our suppliers and their workers once stability, and an internationally-recognised regime, have returned to the country," it said.

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