Yesterday I attended The Vegetarian Society’s TED talks-style KIN 2015 conference in Manchester, along with colleagues from Compassion in World Farming’s Cheshire supporters’ group.
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The efforts to bake yummy cakes and encourage my work colleagues to join in, crack open some free range eggs and do some free range baking with compassion themselves were a success in the end. I’m both pleased and proud to say the collective figure raised by our efforts was a respectable £58.28 which I hope Compassion in World Farming will be able to put to good use in campaigns to promote free range and putt an end to battery egg production.
I have to say I’m glad it wasn’t has hot in my kitchen as it has been all week, otherwise I may have found it a little harder to bake with compassion this afternoon! While Chris was busy watching the men’s Wimbledon final, I slaved away in the kitchen preparing my cakes to sell to colleagues in order to raise money for the Compassion in World Farming Bake With Compassion campaign (well I say slave but it was fun really!) and put my super duper mixer to the test creaming and beating and sounding like it was about to take off.
Animal welfare organisation Compassion in World Farming have organised the Bake With Compassion week to promote baking with free range eggs and help campaign against caged and battery production. The weeklong campaign will take place between 6th and 12th July and aims to raise money through fundraising events to help promote the chickens’ cause.
The popularity of free range eggs is on the increase, and likely thanks to the work of campaign groups and TV programmes promoting better welfare for, and increasing awareness of the conditions chickens live in used in producing both standard meat and caged eggs. Free range egg sales increased by 8.4% last year with sales set to hit £2bn this year, and with sales of eggs from caged hens falling by 3.3%, this can only be a step in the right direction for UK chickens and British egg production.
Three weeks ago Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall launched a competition to inspire the creative side of followers of his famous Chicken Out! campaign, and last week the panel of judges which included Hugh himself, and representatives from Compassion in World Farming chose their winner.
Hugh has been urging Tesco to live up to their claims about welfare issues regarding their standard chicken, trying methods such as telephone conversations, face to face interviews and even becoming a shareholder to get the multi-million pound supermarket chain to take his campaign seriously. Having hit many barriers along the way, Hugh turned to his fellow chicken welfare supporters to show that customers as well as campaigners care about chicken welfare and threw down the gauntlett to design a new label that accurately depicts the environment these chickens are raised in.
The winning design from Debbie Cripps shows an image of a broiler house; hundreds of chickens packed into a dark shed with barely room to move, the title ‘Intensively Reared Chicken’ splashed across the top of the label, and the text beneath the image giving a more accurate description of where the chickens are raised. Hugh said his reason for choosing this design is because of its ‘transparency and fairness’, and went on to say “This design is a stark contrast from the outdoor image and misleading wording that currently appears on the Tesco standard chicken label.”
The new label design has been presented to Tesco with the aim that they will introduce this clearer, more accurate description of the product on sale. Only time will tell whether they will take on board the feedback from customers and campaigners, or Chicken Out!?