News update:Jul 1, 2008

Tesco rejects chef's chicken welfare resolution

Tesco shareholders have voted against a resolution from UK chef Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall calling the retail giant to improve its chicken-rearing standards.

Fearnley-Whittingstall recently proposed a resolution at Tesco's annual general meeting requesting the supermarket upgrade its minimum conditions to the RSPCA's "Freedom Food" marque.
To be passed, the resolution needed the approval of at least 75% of shareholders - it won just under 10%.
The Press Association reports that Fearnley-Whittingstall said Tesco was failing to meet its own stated welfare standards for chickens, and had also left campaigners with a bill for £87,000 for distributing their special resolution. "This is now a special resolution that requires 75% of the vote to succeed and that doesn't seem very democratic to me," stated that chef.
Tesco has a greater duty of care to Britain's chickens than any other retailer simply because of its scale, Fearnley-Whittingstall said. They have to stop claiming that as an organisation they uphold the Five Freedoms (recommended by the Farm Animal Welfare Council) because patently they don't."
Tesco has stated that its standard chickens already meet the Farm Animal Welfare Council's Five Freedoms for livestock. It has rejected the cook's claims that by selling factory farm chickens, it is breaching its own welfare policies.
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Editor WorldPoultry

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