'Now will you listen, Tesco?'
PUBLISHED: 14:21 17 June 2008 | UPDATED: 21:55 15 June 2010
AXMINSTER businessman Hugh Fearnely-Whittingstall has given Tesco the full amount demanded to press ahead with his campaign to give better lives to chickens.
AXMINSTER businessman Hugh Fearnely-Whittingstall has given Tesco the full amount demanded to press ahead with his campaign to give better lives to chickens.Mr Fearnley-Whittingstall met the deadline last week and paid a sum of £86,888 to the supermarket in order to put his concerns about chicken welfare to its shareholders.Documents will now be distributed to around 269,000 Tesco shareholders and a resolution will be tabled at their annual meeting later this month.The retail giant refused to budge on the required amount but did extend the deadline. In little over 24 hours the River Cottage presenter raised more than the needed sum.He pledged £30,000 of his own money, launching a last minute appeal to auction himself and his services through his chickenout.tv website, raising £20,000, and was given a £42,500 donation from charity Compassion in World Farming.Surplus funds will go to Compassion and their ongoing campaigns to improve welfare for poultry.Mr Fearnley-Whittingstall said: "I'm really relieved and hugely grateful to everyone who has shown their support by donating through Compassion and by bidding for my services."This is not just about animal welfare - it also raises the question of how huge public corporations communicate with, and hold themselves accountable to, their shareholders and customers."He added there had been additional pledges of support from people who had not been able to bid or donate cash, but had written to Tesco expressing their support for his resolution. Others questioned their apparent reluctance to engage openly with the issues raised.Tesco previously said they were charging the fee because the documents were submitted late.
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