Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Beyond Chicken Scratch: British Chef and Chicken Welfare Activist Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall Raises Tesco Money and Then Some in Just Two Days

Over ~75,000 pounds in just two days. That's the amount of money United Kingdom chef and animal welfare activist Hugh Fearnley-Wittingstall has raised on his online action site.

Yesterday we wrote and posted this piece about the British celebrity chef's online website auction to raise the~56,888 pounds he needed to meet the amount Tesco PLC told him he must pay in order to get a resolution designed to get Tesco to raise its standards for the broiler chickens it procures and sells at its UK food stores.

Fearnley-Whittingstall said he had ~30,000 of the ~86,888 pounds Tesco told him he must pay for paperwork and related costs required to get the resolution before shareholders at the June 27 annual meeting. The deadline for the chef-UK chicken welfare activist was today.

The UK Independent newspaper is reporting not only did Fearnley-Whittingstall raise more money online than he needed in just two days, but that he's met the deadline of today and paid Tesco the ~86,888 pond fee.

Nearly 3,000 individuals made donations to the chef's cause in just the last two-days. The website auction just went up yesterday as we reported and wrote about here. One person paid ~20,000 pounds for one of Fearnley-Whittingstall's creative auction items on the website, according to the Independent report. There is a link to the online auction website here.

Since the chef and animal welfare activist has paid Tesco the required fee within the required time-frame, it seems he now will be able to get his resolution requesting shareholders to vote on an ethical chicken procurement and sales policy for the retailer heard at the upcoming annual meeting.

As part of the campaign to raise standards for the UK's 800 million broiler chickens, Fearnley-Whittingstall is demanding Tesco meet RSPCA standards on chicken or abandon its claim to fulfil the Government's aspirations on animal welfare.
You can read about the UK RSPCA and it's "Good Chicken Guide" and campaign, which Fearnley-Whittingstall supports, here.

It's the RSPCA's "good chicken" guidelines which will form the basis of Whittingstall's Tesco shareholders resolution. The organization and supporters in the UK, like the popular chef, want all of the nation's supermarket chains to support the guidelines as a way to create leverage on UK chicken producers to adopt the guidelines completely.

It should be an interesting June 27 Tesco annual shareholders meeting.

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