Press Release   •   Oct 14, 2010 15:34 BST

Lucy Neville-Rolfe, Executive Director of Britain’s largest retailer Tesco Plc, will today address the European Commission’s Food Supply Chain Conference and highlight the close relationships and common interests between retailers and suppliers as they strive for success in an intensely competitive industry.

Ms Neville-Rolfe, who serves as Corporate and Legal Affairs Director on the board of Tesco, will stress that relationships with suppliers are one of the key elements behind Tesco’s success.

“The relationship between retailers and suppliers has attracted an enormous amount of interest – including in the food supply chain communication, the Retail Market Monitoring report, debates in the European Parliament, in the media and of course here today,” Ms Neville-Rolfe will tell the Conference.

“But the reality of these relationships is often misunderstood. Our relationship with suppliers is based on a joint goal – to meet customers’ needs and to compete for the customer’s attention. This means that it is in both our commercial interests to develop strong and fair relationships.”

Ms Neville-Rolfe will emphasise the importance of innovation, supporting small, local suppliers and increasing efficiency as key success factors, citing several examples of where this has proven its worth for Tesco.

She will also point out that close collaboration with suppliers, for example on reducing global emissions, has helped Tesco make a significant contribution to inclusive, smart and sustainable growth, the themes of the EU 2020 strategy.

“At the macro level, the retail sector generates 13% of EU GDP, employs 33 million people and touches everyone’s lives. So it is not surprising that I believe retail has a significant and yet understated role in delivering the strategy,” she will conclude.

For further information please call the Tesco press office on: +44 1992 644 645