More than half of shoppers who have never visited a chicken farm believe chickens reared for meat are kept in cages.
Morrisons is therefore working with Norfolk broiler producers Nigel and Patrick Joice to open the doors of their intensive poultry farm to the public this Sunday (1 July) in an effort to educate consumers about the reality of chicken production.
David Evans, head of agriculture at Morrisons, said: “There are a lot of misconceptions about the poultry industry and we think it’s important that our customers understand the conditions they live in and the issues we face.
“We believe there are a number of myths about chicken farming. The reality is very different from the perception and that’s why we are opening our doors. I am really proud of the way we rear chickens and the welfare of our birds is at the heart of our business.”
“At Morrisons we believe in offering customers a choice of free-range or housed chickens. For 90% of our customers, cost is a barrier to them buying free-range chickens so we and our farmers have focused on improving the welfare of standard chickens. We therefore want to show our customers the conditions the animals live in.
Patrick Joice from Uphouse Farm said: “We believe there are a number of myths about chicken farming. The reality is very different from the perception and that’s why we are opening our doors. I am really proud of the way we rear chickens and the welfare of our birds is at the heart of our business.”
Those attending on Sunday will be given the chance to ask workers at the farm, along with fellow industry experts, any questions they have about the lives of chickens reared for a supermarket shelf.
Some of the poultry industry’s key players are supporting the day, including Morrisons, the NFU, Red Tractor, AB Agri, Banham Poultry, the British Poultry Council and Aviagen.
For a picture round-up and video from the event, check out www.fwi.co.uk/poultry next week. And for more news and views on poultry farm openness, see the July issue of Poultry World.