Wednesday, 6 February 2008

Under £1 for a roast chicken and all the trimmings? Sounds like a foul dinner.

Today the news is full of talk about Tesco reducing the cost of its chickens by 60% in a special "bargain basement" offer which makes its birds the cheapest on the market.'

According the the article in the Guardian, Tesco are doing this so that shoppers on a budget 'can also benefit'.

Dr Lesley Lambert, director of research at Compassion in World Farming, is quoted in the article - and I couldn't have said it better myself - saying "Why doesn't Tesco drop their prices on their higher welfare products and make this affordable to people on all budgets? While Sainsbury's has committed to massive improvements in animal welfare, Tesco is showing its ethical credentials with this race to the bottom."

The sad truth is that with the big chains employing stunts like these, the price of well bred, free range birds won't be able to come down (which would be for everyone's benefit).

Fearnley-Whittingstall (who highlighted the real price of cheap chickens in his Channel4 series Chicken Run last month) commented in the Independent, saying: "I'm very surprised [at Tesco] because everybody is selling out of free-range chicken. To launch a £1.99 chicken is in direct contradiction to a statement [the chief executive] Sir Terry Leahy made last summer when he said he didn't want to get into a food price war on chicken."

If only the £1.99 birds remained unsold and uneaten on Tesco's shelves. That'd show them.

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