Tesco Importing at Least Two British Suppliers to U.S.: Report

LONDON - U.K. retailer Tesco isn't coming alone to the United States: The global retailer is bringing with it two of its favored British food suppliers, according to a report in the Financial Times.

The companies are Natures Way Foods, which produces prepared salads and lettuce for Tesco; and 2 Sisters Food Group, one of Britain's leading poultry processors. Both privately owned suppliers are planning to establish sites adjacent to Tesco's planned distribution centre in southern California, the report said.

Natures Way, which supplies other retail customers, as well as McDonald's, hasn't previously worked outside the U.K. The company has reportedly set up a U.S. subsidiary called Wild Rocket Foods.

2 Sisters Food Group produces Buxted and Hermanns brand poultry, as well as own-label products for supermarkets including Tesco. The company operates poultry processing plants in the UK and the Netherlands.

Tesco's decision to go with the British suppliers may reflect its desire to "avoid unpleasant surprises," as well as a belief that the prepared meals business in the U.K. and Europe delivers higher-quality products than are currently seen in the U.S., the Financial Times noted.

However, the report also pointed out that the suppliers are facing a legal challenge that is calling for additional environmental reviews of Tesco's plans for its California distribution center site, located in a business park in a former U.S. Air Force base.
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