Should the Queen dump Fortnum & Mason over Foie Gras?

Force feeding animals is not good, especially force feeding geese fat just to make posh pate. Force-feeding is now outlawed in the UK (as cruel) but acceptable in France and the product is banned in California.

Caroline Lucas, a Green MP, has accused Fortnum & Mason of poor ethics by touting the prestigious royal warrants while promoting the luxury unethical paté to its customers. She wants their royal warrant removed. I agree.

Meanwhile Prince Charles is touting ethical values through his eco work and the Duchy brand. It all makes for a lot of hypocrisy.

Brits love animals and the recent recovery of organic has been due to good animal care. So important is it asa n ethical value in food, RSPCA runs the Freedom Foods label to let consumers know that animals has been well cared for. One big champion of the label is the Black Farmer brand of sausages.

PETRA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals), who can be a bit barmy at times (they wanted fish banned from the restaurant of the London Aquarium in case it upset live fish), have revealed cruelty to geese at one of the F&M’s suppliers.

F&M have dismissed Lucas’ criticism by claiming the French farms they use have “excellent welfare standards”. Really?

According to the HuffPost, she wrote to the Lord Chamberlain: “Fortnum & Mason trades on its Englishness. It touts the Royal Warrants awarded to them. Its CSR talks of the store’s high ethics and morals, particularly with regard to food production techniques and animal welfare. It states ‘across everything Fortnum & Mason is and does runs its English character’. I am appalled that the mistreatment of geese and the sale of foie gras should be associated in any way with the essence of Englishness.”

Like fox hunting or badger baiting is too, Caroline? Sadly we are a nation of cruel sports.

“It is totally inappropriate for a Royal Warrant holder to sell a product that is illegal to produce in this country on cruelty-to-animals grounds and for them to promote the product within a framework that claims the highest animal welfare standards in the face of video documentation that belies that claim.”

While F&M may take a resistant line on this, I think social media will become their downfall unless they repent.  It’s already in the public media so the Royal family must be feeling the pressure.

My advice to F&M, for the sake of the brand?

Be less defensive and get more ethical. We are in an era of social responsibility and what you do and sell says more about you than what you say about yourself. There are lots of small quality ethical producers they can support, so time to get out of the Victoria era they live in and get with the modern times.

  • Miki

    I loved the tea but I give up purchase because F&M still have Old English Hunt Marmalade even after the ban on fox hunt due to the PM Blair. It is disgusting that F&M sells foie gras which is not the traditional British food.