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TESCO/ASDA - Animal Welfare

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Am very annoyed. Tesco have responded to the email that I sent at the weekend as follows. This says it all :twisted:




----- Original Message -----

Date: 13 January 2008

Subject: Customer opinion


Dear Customer Services,


As one of your regular customers I urge you to stop selling intensively reared chickens.


I would like to see more free-range poultry available on your shelves and for all your standard chickens to be slower-growing with more space and environmental enrichment.


I hope as my current supermarket and one of the UK's leading retailers you will take the initiative to switch to higher welfare chicken across your standard range and make it easier for me to buy.


If you do not change your policy soon, I may be forced to shop elsewhere.


Yours sincerely,





On 14 Jan 2008, at 14:48, Tesco Customer Service wrote:

Thank you for your email.


I was sorry to learn of your concerns about animal welfare and would like to try and answer these for you.


At the moment we stock full ranges of organic and free-range chicken products in our chilled poultry cabinets and we have done so for many years.


As a company we demand high standards of animal welfare and we're committed to sourcing chickens from suppliers who meet our high standards. All our suppliers are audited through an independent Farm Assurance scheme. And we also have an Agricultural Team especially dedicated to raising animal welfare standards within the industry.


I hope this answer has reassured you of our commitment to animal welfare.


Thank you for taking the time to contact us.


If you have any further queries please do not hesitate to contact us at customer.service@tesco.co.uk quoting TES4593414X.


Kind Regards

Jean Towns

Tesco Customer Service




Date: 14 January 2008 15:33:57 GMT

To: Tesco Customer Service

Subject: Re: TES4593414X Re: Customer opinion


Dear Jean


Unfortunately, your answer does not resolve my concerns. I have and will continue to purchase free range chicken and eggs. However, your policy to not commit to either enriched cages or free-range, thereby excluding battery farmed eggs and intensively reared chickens for meat, does not satisfy my requirements. I along with a great many of my friends and family will not shop at Tesco until this is resolved.


Animals deserve to be treated with respect and to enjoy a certain quality of life, regardless of whether they are considered as pets or reared as farm animals to produce meat.


I do not believe that there is any place for intensive farming methods to continue to be used in Britain in the 21st century. It is barbaric and your refusal to adopt higher welfare standards shows that your concerns are for your profits only.




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here's my reply....


i've highlighted a paragraph where I think they make fair comment, the bit about providing more info and actively promoting the higher welfare birds .


TBH, I think it's down to the consumer now and what they choose to buy and hopefully everyone will now be more aware...


I don't think I'll be shopping there any more but my only other options are Asda and Morrisons.



-----Original Message-----

From: Tesco Customer Service [mailto:customer.service@tesco.co.uk]

Sent: 14 January 2008 17:04

To: .........

Subject: Re: Customer opinion


Thank you for your email.


I am grateful to you for setting out your commitment to animal welfare. I would like to assure you that animal welfare is also extremely important to us.


We have a dedicated agricultural team within Tesco who works hard with our suppliers to improve standards within the industry. This dedicated team also works with animal welfare experts including veterinarians, who together, have established individual Livestock Codes of Practice for each farmed species. These Codes of Practice encompass standards on food safety, environment and requirements concerned with animal health and welfare. These Codes are based on legislation, farm assurance requirements and our own Tesco requirements which often go beyond the legal baseline.


We also employ an independent auditing company who undertake inspections for us, based on product trace, on animal feed, at hatcheries, on farms, during transport and at slaughter and through this process we are consistently engaged with our suppliers to ensure the maintenance of our standards within our supply base. These same high standards apply to all chicken products sold in the fresh and chilled convenience categories at Tesco. Farms overseas are subject to the same strict requirements and auditing protocols as those within the UK. Some other supermarket standards only apply to fresh chicken.


We will continue to offer a range of chicken to our customers which are clearly labelled. It is our policy to actively promote free range and organic chicken, however, a large number of our customers are on a tight budget and rely on lower cost foods to feed their families. We believe it would be wrong to remove these options for them overnight. Instead we will continue to offer a choice of chicken whilst explaining clearly the welfare and environmental benefits of each product so that customers can make an informed choice.


We are also actively promoting Willow Farm, which is a more affordable welfare friendly option grown on UK farms. The Willow Farm range, priced between standard and free-range and organic, demonstrates we are serious about giving customers the opportunity to support welfare-friendly poultry production at prices that more people can afford. These chickens are housed in spacious barns at the RSPCA recommended stocking density, with straw bales to perch on and large windows providing the birds with natural light.


In addition to this, we invest in research and specialist advice to drive improvements on animal welfare. For example, over the past six years we have committed more than £1 million to support research through Oxford University’s Food and Animal Initiative. This research facility develops sustainable farm systems that provide benefits to animal welfare, and shares its knowledge with farmers and the general public.


I hope this information has reassured you and thank you for your comments.


If you have any further queries please do not hesitate to contact us at customer.service@tesco.co.uk quoting TES4593416X.


Kind Regards



Lynne Ormsby

Tesco Customer Service

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Got this one from ASDA today. What a load of rubbish :twisted:


Thank you for your message.


Thank you for taking the time to contact us about chicken welfare.


At ASDA we take animal welfare very seriously. You will be pleased to know that we do not sell any battery or cage produced chicken.


We believe in providing choice to meet both the palates and pockets of all our customers. We achieve this by offering a full range of chicken both free range and organic in all our stores nationwide.


All our fresh ASDA brand chicken is clearly labelled and meets strict farm assurance standards ensuring customers know exactly what they are buying.


ASDA's standard fresh chicken is reared in barns that provide warm, dry housing with straw or wood shavings bedding, heating and fresh air controlled by ventilation systems, and have full access to food and fresh drinking water.


Hopefully we have answered all your questions with regards to chicken and welfare standards here at ASDA.


Kind Regards


Lucy Robinson

ASDA Service Team

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. You will be pleased to know that we do not sell any battery or cage produced chicken.




good heavens! :roll: what drone did they get to compose that e-mail!!???

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I couldn't find anything other than standard in there last time I visited :roll:


Haven't decided on appropriate reply email yet. This deserves some contemplation!!


edited to add - I may ask them about stocking densities. As for no cage reared chicken, there wouldn't be! That would just be the eggs. The chickens are stacked on top of each other in barns :twisted:

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My reply -


Dear Lucy


Thank you for your reply. However I do have a few more questions for you.


On your reply you stated that you do not sell any battery or cage produced chicken. I am not aware that any chickens are reared in this way for meat. Battery cages are used solely for egg production.


As regards your standard fresh chicken, please can you tell me what the stocking densities are for chicken reared for ASDA per square metre? They may well be reared in barns with warm, dry housing with straw, heating and fresh air along with full access to food and fresh drinking water, however if they are stacked on top of each other as is the usual method for intensive farming this hardly constitutes high welfare standards.


My final question is with regards to freedom food as approved by the RSPCA or free-range chicken, please can you tell me why your store in Old Potts Way, Shrewsbury does not sell these items?


I look forward to your reply with interest.


Kind Regards


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In Tescos not 1 hour ago... Think i could find any free range chicken? not a chance! Managed to find some free range thighs, Oh well need to lose a few lbs anyway.


That's our Banbury store for you though - the stock levels on everything are very poor at the moment. It's cheaper to get your chicken (and any other meat for that matter) at the farmers' markets - why not join us at Stratford or Deddington.. it's all free range, and the money goes straight to the producer too :D

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Ooh I didn't know there was a Waitrose in Telford. I might have to try it sometime. I went to Sainsburys at Meole Brace last week. Was very good apart from I spent far too much money cos all the shelves were full of niceness :lol:


I've forwarded my reply from ASDA to the Food Policy Manager at Compassion in World Farming. That was where I got the original email to forward to the supermarkets from. I'm sure he will be interested in their reply :shock:

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its in newport, near Harper Adams.


Have you thought about talking to Harper Adams actually? My sister goes to Uni there and as its an agricultural Uni they might be able to help you with your campaign :)


It's not so much of a campain but more of a rant really hun :lol:

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