Friday, June 13, 2008

Chickens stuff Tesco

A quick update on the shoddy goings-on at Tesco HQ and Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's Chicken Out campaign. And it's all good news. Here's the clipping:

Hugh hits target on Tesco Checkout Challenge!

'On Tuesday 10th June, Hugh sent Tesco the full amount they requested in order for his resolution to be tabled at the Tesco AGM at the end of this month.

The resolution called on Britain’s biggest supermarket to upgrade their poultry welfare standards so that it is in line with their stated claim to endorse the ‘Five Freedoms’ as set down by the Farm Animal Welfare Council. In practice this would be achievable by a commitment to upgrading their poultry to at least the RSPCA Freedom Foods production system which, although indoor-reared, uses slower growing breeds, a lower stocking density and environmental enrichment to allow chickens to express natural behaviour.

The sum of £86,888 was requested by the retail giant in order to pay for the distribution of Hugh’s resolution, supporting statement and proxy voter forms to approximately 269,000 Tesco shareholders. The amount – which was challenged by Hugh but which Tesco refused to budge on – threatened to knock his resolution off course.

But following a deadline extension granted by Tesco last Friday, until Wednesday June 11th, Hugh launched a last minute appeal at the weekend to auction himself and his services in a bid to raise the full amount (current bids total over £20,000) through his campaign website http://www.chickenout.tv/. Hugh also pledged £30,000 of his own money, and received a generous donation and technical and fundraising assistance from the charity Compassion in World Farming (CIWF) totalling, at latest count, £42,500.

If all the auction bids are honoured, this actually means that in little over 24 hours Hugh has raised more than the sum needed – and any surplus funds will go to CIWF and their ongoing campaigns to improve welfare for poultry.

“I’m really relieved and hugely grateful to everyone who has shown their support by donating through Compassion, and by bidding for my services,” says Hugh. “This is not just about animal welfare, it also raises the question of how huge public corporations communicate with and hold themselves accountable to, their shareholders and customers.”

Hugh added that there have been many additional pledges of support from people who have not been able to bid or donate cash but who have written to Tesco expressing their support for his resolution and taking the retailer to task for their apparent reluctance to engage openly with the issues raised.'

Good on you, Hugh.

4 comments:

Jon M said...

My chickens are free and friendly and on my blog today!

Janet said...

Stevyn, I'm delighted that you found Alfie Lafalfie -- nobody but my husband and one friend seem to have even bothered -- and I'll begin to follow your blog as well. Hope it's ok for me to link you both on the "funny" (judgment call on my part) blog and on Lord Celery, my main blog?

I've also wish-listed your book on Amazon. Wonder if I can stand the wait until October?

Janet

Stevyn Colgan said...

Jon - so damned glad to hear it. I used to keep bantams myself but it's difficult at the moment due to a somewhat odd lifestyle where I'm not at home as often as I'd like. But the chickens will return one day!

Janet - So glad you popped by! And I'm glad I found you too. A great site (follow the comments to visit her, folks!). As for the book ... October seems so far away (I sold the book back in September last year) but it's June already! Madness! I mustn't wish my life away ...

Stevyn Colgan said...

Hugh got his money and loads more besides! Hoorah!