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Supermarkets Prepare for Consumer Backlash

by 5m Editor
18 January 2008, at 12:13pm

UK - Supermarkets are preparing for paltry poultry sales due to the impact of the latest ‘trials by TV’ that hit the airwaves earlier this month.

Photo: StockXchange

Birds-of-a-feather Jamie Oliver and Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall have both launched campaigns exposing the treatment of birds destined for supermarket shelves and supermarkets have since been running around like headless chickens, announcing new rules and regulations to reassure consumers of their commitment to the highest standards.

Sainsbury’s has announced that it intends to phase out standard chicken and replace it with birds reared under the RSPCA’s Freedom Food rules by 2010. Morrisons has also announced its intention to expand its current range of Freedom Food poultry and Marks & Spencer and Waitrose have already pioneered better welfare conditions for their chickens.

Many producers are keen to improve conditions but are getting themselves into a flap, saying they must have higher prices for their poultry.

It reportedly costs around £60,000 to convert a 100,000 bird unit to Freedom Food standards. Charles Bourns, chairman of the NFU poultry board, said: “Because of the high feed prices we are not even making 3p a chicken at the moment and a lot of farmers are losing money”.

5m Editor