Jamie Oliver Sainsbury’s fallout

Jamie Oliver 'upset' with Sainsbury's for snubbing chicken crusade

Jamie Oliver yesterday blasted Sainsbury’s bosses for pulling out of his hard-hitting documentary on factory farming.

TV chef Jamie, who is paid £1.2 million by Sainsbury’s to front their advertising campaigns, was furious when the firm failed to turn up to a TV debate about the way battery-farmed chickens are treated.

Jamie asked bosses of the ‘big four’ supermarkets – Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Asda and Morrisons – to take part in a TV grilling on the rights and wrongs of selling battery-farmed eggs and chickens.

But was stunned and angry when none of them turned up – particularly his employer.

He seethed: ‘It is shocking that the people I work for didn’t turn up on the day. I don’t know why. The fact that your PR department hasn’t even got the confidence to turn up and talk about what you do for the millions of people who come through your doors each week. Of course the supermarkets should have turned up. How dare they not? I was really upset.’

A Sainsbury’s representative does appear in a filmed segment on the show. But for the main section, filmed with an audience in a studio designed to look like a restaurant, only the Co-op and Waitrose took part.

Jamie wanted the supermarkets to be questioned for his show, Jamie’s Fowl Dinners, airing on Friday, in which he reveals that farmers are paid as little as 2p a chicken by some supermarkets.

Jamie wants supermarkets and customers to buy British and to pay a fair price for ‘ethically-reared’ chickens and eggs. As a basic minimum, he wants supermarkets to stock produce marked with the RSPCA’s Freedom Food label, which sets down standards for the welfare of chickens, giving them more space to roam, perches and straw bales.

He said: ‘For me this whole programme is about fair trade for the animals and for British farmers. They are being pushed and pushed and are at the limit. One farmer is earning 2p a bird so has to kill 50 animals to make a quid. Where can they go from there’

Jamie has developed a five-point plan to improve chicken welfare and help farmers.

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