Tesco Standard

Tesco Natures Choice

i)  What is Tesco Natures Choice?

Tesco Nature’s Choice is a standard, which all of our fresh produce growers around the world must achieve in order to supply us with fresh fruit, vegetables or salads.

The standard was developed to ensure that our top quality fresh produce comes from growers who use good agricultural practices, operate in an environmentally responsible way and with proper regard for the health and well being of their staff.

Growers have to demonstrate that they operate in the manner which meets these requirements, laid down by Tesco in the Nature’s Choice Code of Practice.

ii) Why Tesco Nature’s Choice

Our customer’s demand fruit and vegetables that are fresh, tasty and excellent value. Not only this, but they expect Tesco to ensure that these fresh products are grown safely and with minimal environmental impact. Integrity is paramount.  It matters greatly where and how product is grown.

Tesco Natures Choice was first introduced in 1991 to control chemical usage and develop environmentally sustainable production standards for our growers.  We were the first supermarket to introduce a formal code of practice and have since revised the scheme to become a world wide stand alone scheme, which is independently audited.

iii) How does the scheme work?

The standard is applied world wide and covers all aspects of farming practice, promoting not just good agricultural practice but the best agricultural practice.

A Technical Advisory Committee was established to ensure that Tesco Natures Choice is independent and always remains up to date.  The Advisory Committee includes members of the Tesco technical team, growers, independent technical experts and members of the scheme registrar, CMi Plc.

CMi is operating as the registrar for the scheme on behalf of Tesco and manage the grower registration and certification process.

Growers are audited to the standard annually.  CMi has a register of independent third party auditors, from approved international certification bodies, who are able to carry out audits in order to verify that growers meet the scheme’s high standard.

The standard is consistent for growers all over the world, and it is set out in such a way to encourage continuous improvement.  Growers are encouraged to improve and develop, moving from bronze standard, through to join our group of  worldwide elite ‘Gold Standard’ growers.

Sections within the standard:

  • Rational use of crop inputs such as fertilisers and plant protection products

Reducing inputs wherever possible to reduce environmental risk and ensure proper control.  Only certain products, which pose the least risk to the environment and human health are allowed for use.  These products are reviewed annually and are risk assessed by an independent organisation called AUDAX.

  • Pollution prevention

All potential environmental pollutants in the production chain have to be identified and reduced.

  • Wildlife and landscape conservation.

The standard encourages the use of beneficial insects rather than chemicals to control pests. Growers are asked to draw up a farm conservation plan, which guides them in protecting important wildlife and landscapes.

  • Recycling, re-use and energy conservation.

This encourages water and energy efficiency and recycling. Energy plans have to be in place for growers to reduce use of natural resources.  Proper control procedures are put in place to prevent unnecessary damage to the environment.

  • Protection of human health

Ensures that all staff are given appropriate training for the work that they do, reducing the risks of accidents and ill health. Risks to health are identified and reduced wherever possible.

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