20 December 1999
Tesco joins feed antibiotic boycott
By FWi staff
TESCO own-label fresh and rotisserie chicken will be produced without the use of antibiotic growth promoters (AGPs) by the end of next month.
The move follows a decision by Marks & Spencer last month to remove AGPs from all of its fresh chicken production.
Shortly before that, Britains biggest poultry producer Grampian Country Food Group, which accounts for nearly one-third of UK chicken output, announced that it was stopping feeding AGPs to its birds.
Other producers have since indicated that they too will stop using AGPs.
Tesco says its decision follows requests from customers and will affect around 80 million chickens a year sold in more than 650 Tesco stores.
The supermarket chain carried out trials with selected suppliers for six months
Chris Ling, Tesco agricultural manager, said: “We have been working with our poultry suppliers to remove AGPs and look at ways of improving flock husbandry and management to ensure welfare is not compromised.”
Tesco still permits producers to administer antibiotics to treat disease.
Its own-label fresh organic and Tesco free-range chickens are already fed an AGP-free diet.
An EU ban on four AGPs widely used in pig and poultry production came into force this year.