Jamie Oliver and Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s TV documentary on the differences between standard and free-range chickens have caused a crisis in the chicken industry, reports the Times.
Supermarket sales of “regular” birds have dipped. Some big supermarkets like Sainsbury’s are even thinking of phasing them out completely and selling only those raised by the standard RSPCA’s Freedom Food rules by 2010. Morrisons will also be increasing it’s “Freedom Food” range, following the steps of chains like Marks & Spencer and Waitrose.
Poultry farmers have called a meeting at the National Farmers’ Union (NFU) headquarters and will be launching an ad campaign. Many of them can’t afford to follow the conditions set by the Freedom Food rules — and definitely not without increasing their prices.