Auckland, Tuesday 28th August – GE free consumers around the country will welcome today’s announcement that Tegel is now sourcing their chicken feed from non genetically engineered crops.
Tegel is responsible for importing 50 000 tonnes of soy bean meal from the US into NZ, to feed it’s chickens. During the past year thousands of people have sent postcards, emails and letters calling on Tegel to “not be chicken, and to go GE free”. Todays response by Tegel is a clear indication that the future of the market place is in GE free products.
“Tegel have recognised the public rejection of GE, and have responded accordingly. This is a victory for public opinion and reinforces the necessity for NZ to be GE free in our environment and food chain,” said Annette Cotter, Greenpeace campaigner.
Greenpeace has been campaigning to get Tegel to source GE free soy meal for their chicken feed for over 12 months. Crew of the Greenpeace Flagship the Rainbow Warrior took action against Tegel and their major customer KFC during the summer.(2) As a result KFC made a commitment to go GE free earlier this year.
“Tegel, the largest company selling chickens, is leading the way for the poultry industry and should be congratulated for their GE free stance. Tegel has around 60 percent of the market share and an annual turnover exceeding $60 Million. Inghams and other poultry producers should follow this lead and make a GE free commitment also,” said Cotter.
“Greenpeace is calling on the government to follow the example set by Tegel in listening to the people of New Zealand and ensure that our environment remains free from GE contamination. Tegels own statistics show that 75% of consumers are supportive of their GE free commitment. GE is simply not wanted by a clear majority of New Zealanders.”
Tegel joins a wave of companies both in New Zealand and in Europe that have listened to their customers and made a GE free commitment. Other companies who have also done so include, Heinz Watties, Cerebos Greggs, and Unilever. (1)