Jamie Oliver has criticised Red Tractor chicken, by saying he would not feed his children chicken reared to the standard.
Last week on Jamie and Jimmy’s Friday Night Feast, the Channel 4 cookery programme, the celebrity chef and his friend Jimmy Doherty, a farmer and TV presenter, viewed footage of a farm where chickens were reared in sheds to Red Tractor standards.
The assurance scheme is used by 78,000 farmers in the UK and means chicken has met certain ‘robust and responsible’ production standards and is traceable.
Oliver said on the programme: “Chickens are bred to grow fast with a high ratio of meat to bone, but this makes them heavy so they can struggle to walk… I think people would be shocked by the reality of what we are buying.”
Doherty then asked him: “You wouldn’t eat Red Tractor chicken?” Oliver responded: “I personally wouldn’t feed it to my kids.”
The NFU’s new president Minette Batters defended the assurance scheme, pointing out it meant families could buy food confident that it had been created to a high standard.
She told the Sunday Telegraph: “There are a lot of people on tight budgets and they must not be disadvantaged in all of this. It is about making sure we can provide quality affordable, safe, traceable food to everybody regardless of budgets, regardless of background.”