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Hugh's Going to Support the Chicken Campaign?

by 5m Editor
11 June 2008, at 11:26a.m.

UK - Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall is calling for support on his latest campaign to improve the welfare of commercially bred chickens.

The celebrity television chef, who has been the face behind an ongoing animal welfare campaign, is hoping to raise £86,888 to push a resolution through to Tesco shareholders at the Annual General Meeting at the end of June.

A few weeks ago he submitted a resolution to Tesco plc with the support of over 100 shareholders challenging Tesco's claims about poultry welfare, and urging them to set new minimum welfare standards, including lower stocking densities and more environmental stimuli for the birds.

Now Tesco have said that they will only take our resolution to the AGM if the campaign meets the cost of distributing the relevant papers to their shareholders.

"They are entitled to waive this fee, and we have requested that they do so, in the interest of shareholder democracy, but they have declined." Said Hugh. "In other words, the resolution is dead in the water unless I pay them £86,888 to print and post the papers out to all 269,000 Tesco shareholders."

Tesco is the biggest retailer in the country and Hugh believes that they can make the biggest difference to the lives of hundreds of millions of chickens. "And so I'm determined," he says, "along with my fellow supporting shareholders and Chicken Out campaigners, to pursue this resolution."

Hugh is going to start the ball rolling by putting £30k of my own money into the pot and he hopes to raise the rest of the money from donations by selling himself and his services as part of an auction.

Compassion for World Farming have teamed up with Hugh's campaign saying that they believe that Tesco, the UK's largest supermarket, needs to address its welfare policies for chickens and egg laying hens.

Philip Lymbery, Compassion in World Farming Chief Executive said in a statement: "Instead of selling chickens that have been crammed into factory farms Tesco, the UK's biggest supermarket, should be waking up to consumer demand and improve their animal welfare policies. Moving to at least Freedom Food equivalent for chicken production, and ditching the battery cage for eggs, are things that consumers want and other supermarkets are actively doing. How much longer can Tesco bury its head in the sand?

"We want this resolution to go through to push Tesco into listening to consumer demand and provide ethical food to all its shoppers."

Further Reading

- Go to our previous news item on this story by clicking here.

5m Editor