River Cottage 0-1 Tesco

June 29, 2008

Following on from my earlier post, found an interesting article in the Guardian about Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s attempts to change Tesco’s chicken policy.

The campaign to improve the welfare of chickens sold in Tesco stores, led by celebrity chef Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, hijacked the company’s annual meeting yesterday, drawing groans from the pensioners and standard bearers of middle England there to pose a question about their local store or to take advantage of a spot of free lunch.

Well worth reading.

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Profits over welfare

June 28, 2008

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, he of River Cottage fame, has alas failed in his attempt to get Tesco to change their chicken policy.

The BBC reports on his attempt at the Tesco shareholders meeting.

Tesco shareholders have not backed proposals to improve welfare standards for chickens championed by TV cook Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall.

The chef wanted investors to adopt new standards for rearing birds, but the plan got fewer than 10% of votes at its annual general meeting in Solihull.

Read more.

Though this is a setback for Hugh’s campaign, a lot of consumers are changing their own buying habits at the supermarket. Over the last few years virtually all of the chicken I buy has been organic for me the main reason has been flavour and concerns about chemicals used.

I have noticed recently in both Sainsburys and Morrisons the amount of shelf space they give free range, organic and RSPCA Freedom chicken has really increased.

However with the continuing economic pressures on consumers, will price give way to quality and taste? According to an article I read in the Guardian, the answer is no, as what goes first with an economic downturn is going out to restaurant.