Supermarkets 'take action on chicken welfare'
PUBLISHED: 14:28 20 January 2008 | UPDATED: 08:19 28 March 2014
January 18, 2008: Supermarkets have reacted to TV programmes about chicken welfare by announcing new
rules and regulations to reassure consumers of their commitment to the
Clebrity chefs Jamie Oliver and Hugh
Fearnley-Whittingstall have both launched campaigns exposing the
treatment of birds destined for supermarket shelves.
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
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
Many producers are keen to improve conditions but are getting
themselves into a flap, saying they must have higher prices for their
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."