Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall is campaigning to promote chicken welfare, he produced a serries of programs on the subject for Channel 4 in the Autumn. Towards the end of that series we saw him meeting with representatives of many major retailers and between that series and a related Jamie Oliver programme in the same season caused an uplift in free range bird sales by 50%. Tesco the undisputed giant of British retailing wouldn't take part at anything other than the local level, it also is lagging somewhat behind the other supermarkets in initiatives relating to battery eggs. So Hugh as a shareholder drafted and submitted a resolution to be voted upon at the 2008 Tesco AGM that relates the requested improvements to the key factors of shareholder decision making, PR and bottom line.
Over the weekend it has been announced that Hugh has stepped in a boggy patch on this road to chicken welfare, it seams that Tesco has sent out all the paperwork packs it was planning to for the AGM so this resolution would need to be sent separately at a cost of £86,000. Mr Fearnley-Whittingstall's response? He has put in just over a third of the cash from his own pocket and is asking people who support his position to help. If you feel you want to be part of this you can either make a strait donation via the online presence of Compassion in World Farming. Or if you want a little more for your money you can bid for a number of events and items that Hugh is offering, read more on the Chicken Out web site.
P.S. I am in a play in Sheffield next week, if you can make it I can assure you it is great fun and full of laughs (mostly at me), swashbuckling and romance. The Company presents Aphra Behn's The Rover.