FEBRUARY 8, 2008: Tesco, Britain’s largest supermarket, has come under fire for selling chicken for £1.99 justweeks after two of its competitors, Sainsbury’s and Co-op, promised toend the sale of cheap chicken.
Compassion in World Farming Director of Research Dr Lesley Lambert said: “Why doesn’t Tesco drop their prices on their higher welfare products and make this affordable to people on all budgets?”Compassion in World Farming voiced its ‘disgust’ at the latest decision. It says it shows Tesco is not listening to consumer demand.The publicity generated in January by celebrity chefs Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and Jamie Oliver programmes on Channel 4 saw a sea-change in consumer understanding of chicken production and a surge in demand for better welfare. Compassion in World Farming says Tesco is undermining consumer confidence by making the price gap between high and low welfare meat even bigger.Dr Lambert accused Tesco of driving down prices. Speaking to The Guardian newspaper he said: “While Sainsbury’s has committed to massive improvements in animal welfare, Tesco is showing its ethical credentials with this race to the bottom.”Scientific research shows that many of these birds are lame and likely to be in pain and live their lives in their own faeces. Consumers have shown they will vote with their wallets on the basis of animal welfare.”Research published in a scientific journal by Bristol University and the Department for Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has shown that more than a quarter of intensively produced chickens have difficulty walking.