2 Sisters Food Group has been accused of trying to curry favour with MPs on the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Select Committee by sending ‘inappropriate’ gifts to members investigating possible food safety breaches.
The committee has been looking into allegations made by undercover reporters that workers at the 2 Sisters’ West Midlands plant changed slaughter dates and put meat which had been dropped on the floor back on to the production line.
When hauled before MPs to explain covert footage shot by the journalists, chief executive Ranjit Singh Boparan denied several of the accusations.
Now the chair of the committee, Neil Parish, has written to Mr Boparan to complain about the receipt of ‘unsolicited gifts’ – tins of biscuits worth £20 – over the Christmas period.
“We consider the sending of these gifts to be an inappropriate gesture on your part and an unwarranted attempt to impugn the committee’s impartiality”, the letter reads.
“I would be grateful if you would respect the integrity and independence of the committee and avoid similar gestures in future.
“The receipt of these gifts was not welcomed by the committee members. In all cases they were either donated to a local charity or returned to 2 Sisters.
“Those members in receipt of gifts from the 2 Sisters Food Group have declared this in the committee’s formal minutes.”
2 Sisters told Farmers Guardian the business sends out these gifts as a ‘goodwill gesture’ every Christmas to hundreds of customers, suppliers and community organisations.
Each MP received eight packets of Fox’s and own brand biscuits, in addition to two tins or boxes of Fox’s biscuits containing crunch creams and Viennese slices.