Tim Smith (Tesco)

From Powerbase
Jump to: navigation, search
Tim Smith

Tim Smith is the current group technical director at supermarket giant Tesco Plc.

He is a former boss of the UK Food Standards Agency, which he left in 2012 to become head of operating standards at Tesco.


Smith has spent his entire career in the food industry and has held leading roles in various food manufacturers such as Northern Foods, Sara Lee, Express Dairies and Arla. [1]

In 2008 Smith became chief executive of the Food Standards Agency (FSA), an independent government department responsible for food safety and hygiene across the UK. The FSA works with businesses to ensure that the food industry maintains high levels of food safety. [2] After leaving the FSA in 2012 joined Tesco. [3]


When Smith took on the role as technical director at Tesco it was on condition that he did not lobby ministers or civil servants on behalf of the supermarket firm for his first two years in the job.

In 2014 however it emerged that Smith had warned the Department of Health that revealing food poisoning contamination rates would provoke a food scare and therefore cause potential damage to the food industry.

The health secretary, Jeremy Hunt, has since admitted that Smith had contacted the government to argue against plans to publish the food poisoning contamination rates for chicken in each supermarket chain. [4]

This issue surrounding Smith and his attempt to lobby against such publication of food contamination rates is particularly controversial due to rules surrounding employee legislation under the Advisory Committee on Business Appointments (ACOBA) rules. These rules state that when ministers or crown servants take up any new paid or unpaid appointment within two years of leaving, they must apply for advice on the suitability of the new post from ACOBA. [5]

It is not yet clear when Smith lobbied figures linked to the FSA report, but the timing of his intervention could see him in breach of these conditions. [6]


  1. Tim Smith, Group Quality Director, Tesco The International Food and Drink Event, accessed 23 February 2015
  2. missing part of sentence?
  3. About us Food Standards Agency, accessed 23 February 2015
  4. Food Standards Agency tells board to reveal contact with Tesco director Tim Smith The Telegraph, 2 May 2013, accessed 23 February 2015
  5. Guidance New business appointments for ministers and senior Crown servants GOV.UK, accessed 23 February 2015
  6.  ?