Trading Standards Warns Fortnum & Mason To Stop Misleading Customers Over Animal Welfare Claims

For Immediate Release:
19 December 2011

Mimi Bekhechi 0207 357 9229, ext 243; [email protected]

London – In response to a complaint filed by PETA, Fortnum & Mason – a company known to play on its high standards – has been warned by Westminster Trading Standards that if it does not amend its corporate social responsibility policy or make it clear that the policy does not cover foie gras, it could be in breach of the Consumer Protection From Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 and face legal action.

The company disingenuously states that “animal welfare is very important to us” and claims that all its meat is of the highest welfare standard, complying with the “Five Freedoms” framework. In reality, birds used for foie gras are not granted a single one of the Five Freedoms, and foie gras production is so cruel that it is prohibited in Britain by the Welfare of Farmed Animals (England) Regulations 2007. The company further states that “[a]cross everything Fortnum & Mason is and does runs its English character”, while it sources from abroad a product deemed too cruel to produce in the UK.

In light of this development, Sir Roger Moore, PETA’s foie gras ambassador, said, “Fortnum & Mason has a choice – it can either highlight the fact that it is one of the last British department stores to sell a horribly cruel product, or it can finally pull foie gras from its shelves once and for all. If Fortnum & Mason wants to continue to trade on its ‘Britishness’ and high standards, it should adhere fully to British law and stop paying French farmers to force-feed geese for foie gras”.

In addition to Sir Roger, other high-profile supporters of the campaign to rid Fortnum & Mason of foie gras include Dame Vera Lynn, Twiggy, Jenny Seagrove and much-loved twitcher Bill Oddie.

PETA’s complaint to Westminster Trading Standards is available upon request.