Firms halt their Zimbabwe supply chains

3 July 2008
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04 July 2008 | Paul Snell

UK retailer Tesco is to stop sourcing from suppliers in Zimbabwe because of the political crisis in the country.

The supermarket said it had taken the decision because it could not ignore the "growing consensus" in the international community that action must be taken to increase pressure for change.

Tesco sources around £1 million of produce from the country annually.

"We think the right decision is to stop sourcing products from Zimbabwe until there is an end to the current political crisis," the retailer said in a statement.

"We have to date sought to balance wide political considerations against a desire to support our suppliers in Zimbabwe and enable them to support workers who depend on that trade for their livelihood."

It added its aim was "to re-engage with our suppliers and their workers once stability, and an internationally-recognised regime, have returned to the country."

The banknote printer Giesecke & Devrient has also stopped its supply of banknote paper to the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe.

The firm said it had been asked by the German government to stop its deliveries. "Our decision is a reaction to the political tension in Zimbabwe, which is mounting significantly rather than easing as expected," said Karsten Ottenberg, the firm's CEO.


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