Ethical chicken is cheaper than a Cadbury’s Creme Egg

Ethical chicken is cheaper than a Cadbury’s Creme Egg

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Eighty-six per cent of shoppers say all the chickens we eat should be farmed to ethical animal welfare standards, according to a new RSPCA Assured survey.

But whilst the trend for ethical purchasing is growing, the reality is only a small minority of chickens produced in the UK come from farms meeting acceptable welfare standards.

The survey revealed price is the biggest barrier preventing shoppers from choosing ethical chicken with 28% saying it’s too expensive.

But whilst the price of ethical chicken is cited as the main reason people are not choosing it and opting for cheaper alternatives, the cost might not be as bad as people think.

RSPCA farm animal welfare scientist Sophie Elwes said: “Ethical chicken does cost a bit more. But when you think an RSPCA Assured chicken is over two times cheaper - gram for

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gram - than a Cadbury’s Creme Egg or is about the same price as two high street coffees, it sounds much more affordable and a small price to pay for better welfare.”

Another barrier to more people buying ethical chicken is confusion over claims made on packaging, which can mislead people into thinking the chicken they are buying is higher welfare when it's not.  

Sophie said: “Chicken labels are a minefield.  There are so many different brands and descriptions to scan through on supermarket shelves and not enough time for busy shoppers to do it. So it’s no wonder people are confused about what they're buying.  

"Don't be fooled by dubious farm descriptions and clever packaging. Concerned consumers should only buy chicken labelled RSPCA Assured, free range or organic.”

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“We’re known as a nation of animal lovers but most of the chickens we eat don’t have enough space to move around freely. They also grow so fast they become dangerously heavy for their age, with many struggling to walk properly and suffering from heart problems.”  

Sophie Elwes, RSPCA

Date: 15 Apr 2017