The controversy over factory farming methods for British poultry took a new twist yesterday after Jamie Oliver, the celebrity chef leading a campaign for better treatment of chickens, wrote to Sainsbury's praising the retailer's "real leadership" in the industry.
The Channel 4 star and face of Sainsbury's advertising campaign was prompted to write by newspaper reports suggesting he was furious that Sainsbury's officials failed to turn up to a debate on factory farming. The debate was part of Jamie's Fowl Dinners, a one-off documentary to be broadcast at 9pm this evening on Channel 4.
In his letter, Oliver, who is paid £1.2m a year by the supermarket giant, says he is "incredibly upset" with journalists "who misrepresent the programme as a whole", referring specifically to an article in the Daily Mirror on Monday.
The chef, who has campaigned for healthier school dinners, says he wishes he was writing "in different circumstances", adding that his words had been taken out of context and his positive comments about Sainsbury's "have all been ignored somewhat (sic)".