Ethical event . . .

fairtrade.jpgFairtrade fortnight ~ 25th Feb – 9th March.

Choosing to buy Fairftrade products can make a lot of difference.  It can improve the lives of many disadvantaged people . . . it can help provide fair wages and better opportunites and it can empower communities to become more self-reliant.  And importantly, it sends a clear message to our supermarkets and stores that we, the consumer, would like our produce to be sourced without exploitation or cruelty.

Fairtrade goods are usually competatively priced and even if we just bought the fairtrade coffee and tea it would make a difference.  And the retailers will be listening. 

Talking of ethical spending, I know it’s not always possible for people to buy ethically.  Some families on a budget have to buy what they can afford which means that organic produce and free-range goods are often out of bounds for them but I would implore those who can afford it, to buy free-range wherever possible, especially chickens.  Battery-production really is appalling.  A friend recently told me that battery chickens in supermarkets have sores on their legs caused by sitting in their own urine for hours on end.  And if they don’t have sores, it means they have been cut out before they reach the shelves. 

As humans, we know better.  There’s no excuse for cruelty.  Fortunately, the government is going ahead with the push to ban battery-farmed hens.


9 responses to this post.

  1. Did you see Jamie Oliver’s programme last Friday about chicken and egg production? Brilliant!


  2. No but my friend who told me about the sores saw it. Said it made her change her buying choices.

    One of the links in the post relates to Jamie Olivers campaign along with other celebrity chefs.


  3. As I understand it the government’s only proposing to ban battery hens for eggs. And it’s going to take 4 years to do it. No action is planned for intensive chicken rearing for food. How they can condemn barbaric treatment for one lot of hens and ignore it for another is beyond me.


  4. It was the casual gassing of the male chicks that got me. (The Animal Farm was such a brilliant book).


  5. Pete, you’re right. I didn’t realise. How ludicrous. I will only ever buy free-range chickens and I hope more people do too so that the retailers will listen.

    But there will always be people who can only afford to buy the cheapest option. And there will always be those who can afford to buy-without-cruelty but can’t resist a bargain.

    Look for Freedom Foods – “welfare-friendly” and endorsed by the RSPCA.


  6. Protein is ludicrously cheap, and it is tempting to go for quantity over quality (of both the ‘product’ and the animals’ life). We have to remind ourselves that we can afford to put our money where our mouth is and buy organic, free range, ‘happy’ chickens etc.
    Problems can occur when the supermarket doesn’t have the right stock on the shelves during the weekly shopping slot. Our local Sainsbury’s was right out of organic chicken last Friday evening, which may or may not be an indicator of the Channel 4 message getting through. I can understand how people might substitute ‘two for a fiver’ chicken if they can’t find an ethical alternative.


  7. Yes, good points Pete.

    And maybe,as you indicated, it is a good sign that the organic chicken shelf was empty. Any retailer with his eye on the ball will note this and adapt accordingly.

    We’ve also got to ask – even if these stores stop selling battery-chickens and eggs, can they also guarantee that their other food products won’t contain chicken/egg that is battery-produced?


  8. > other food products won’t contain chicken/egg that is battery-produced?

    Oh absolutely! This is the thing that was really driven home for me. Waitrose I believe is aiming for 100% free range eggs only as ingredient this year and Helman’s mayo as well.


  9. The quartermaster reports that Sainsbury’s were out of ‘happy’ chicken again tonight. Perhaps it’s a Friday thing. Perhaps they’ve got 3 trucks waiting out back by the smoking shed all set to unload.


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