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Oliver chicken deal divides opinion

Jamie Oliver has been on the receiving end of a backlash from campaigners after it was revealed he has put his name to a Brazilian range of frozen chicken meals.

The Telegraph reported that the celebrity chef has signed a multi-million pound deal with Sadia, a division of the Brazilian food giant BRF Brazil, to create a range of pre-prepared poultry products.

Critics, however, have accused Oliver of betraying his principles, according to the paper, given his history of encouraging people to cook ‘real food’ from scratch.

Animal welfare campaigners, meanwhile, told The Telegraph that Oliver had betrayed the narrative he has built around local produce and fresh food by partnering with a processor linked to intensive production methods.

In response, Oliver said he needed to work with large companies such as Sadia if he was to create change on a large scale. He is understood to have persuaded the company to adopt higher welfare standards for the chickens used in his new products.

In a statement issued to The Telegraph, Oliver said: “Everything I do has to have purpose in the food industry, and right at the heart of my partnership with Sadia is a massive system change of better chicken welfare standards at scale in Brazil.

We’re revolutionising the frozen food category with better quality food and have already made a positive difference to the standards of over 40 million Brazilian chickens. And that’s just the start.”