Ranjit Boparan apologises as he faces grilling from Defra committee

Ranjit Singh Boparan, the founder of 2 Sisters Food Group, has apologised for the food safety scandal facing his company as he pledged to fund the cost of independent inspectors to police all 12 of his UK chicken processing plants.

The comments came during a sometimes heated session of the Commons environment, food and rural affairs committee hearing on Wednesday in which Boparan was called to appear. He also pledged to improve standards at his factory, increase training of his workforce and install CCTV. He said he was sorry to “this committee, consumers, our customers and colleagues” and promised to “go see any retailer to ask them to take product from that factory” to try and restore confidence.

However, the entrepreneur was evasive when quizzed by MPs about whether the company had breached food safety regulations, and repeatedly declined to answer direct questions on the topic. Boparan had been summoned to appear in front of the parliamentary committee after a Guardian and ITV News investigation into standards at the firm’s West Bromwich plant.

Boparan addressed MPs with a raised voice at one point and said: “We do not have poor standards. I invite all of you to my factory.”

Neil Parish, the chairman of the committee, said he would accept Boparan’s apology and his promise to improve standards.

Parish added: “What he said today was recorded and is on the record. I accept his word that he will improve and put things right. But God help him if he’s got to come here again and he hasn’t put it right.”

The West Midlands plant where undercover footage was filmed alleging to show workers picking up chicken from the floor and changing the dates on packs of chicken remains closed.

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