Hugh’s Chicken Run created a bit of a stir on TV a couple of weeks ago, you may recall. But, the proof of Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall’s ambitious campaign is whether it makes any permanent difference. Now that the programmes are over, have enough people really changed their minds about intensively farmed meat to create a new market for free range?
The supermarkets have been saying that the demand just isn’t there for more expensive free range birds, and that’s been their excuse for not stocking them. Hugh’s point is that if you’re not stocking them, how do you know if there’s a market or not? How do you convince the supermarkets to take the risk and try it?
Well, the early news is that the supermarkets that do stock free range chicken have seen a run on it since the programmes. In fact, sales may have gone up by 60%, putting pressure on suppy lines, and supermarkets have been selling out. What needs to happen now is for the chains that don’t stock free range to notice that demand and start shifting some of their suppliers over.
So, the next step in the Chicken Out campaign is this: to prove to the supermarkets that the demand is there, by showing them that it’s out of stock in the places that normally sell it. To do this, Hugh is inviting you to take your camera, video camera or mobile to the supermarket, ask for the free range chicken, and if it’s out of stock, take a picture of the empty shelf. Send the Chicken Out campaign the photo, and they might even use it in their follow-up programme. Their website has all the details of where to send your photo. Now get your camera out, and snap a supermarket…
And if you haven’t signed the petition yet, you can do that here.