British chefs Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and Jamie Oliver seem to have turned the tides against factory-raised chickens. Due to their high-profile campaign to illuminate the seedy underbelly of poultry farming, British shoppers are now flocking to buy organic and free-range birds—or, as the British are calling them, “higher-welfare chickens.”
According to the article in the Independent:
Sales of free-range poultry shot up by 35 per cent last month compared with January 2007, while sales of standard indoor birds fell by 7 per cent …
Supermarkets have been stripped of free-range birds, prompting complaints from frustrated shoppers keen to embrace the movement away from intensive farming.
Apparently, the Tesco supermarket chain has doubled its order for free-range chickens, while competing chain Sainsbury’s—for which Oliver is a spokesperson—has had to import free-range birds from France in an attempt to keep up with demand.
As the article points out, “Many suppliers in the £2bn-a-year poultry industry are now expected to convert cramped chicken sheds into more spacious accommodation.” Good move, since Fearnley-Whittingstall plans to produce another chicken welfare program later this year.