Monday, March 4, 2013

Where the hell does IGA chicken come from?

IGA roast chooks are Steggles brand

Why am I only paying 11.99 Australian dollars for a butchered, seasoned, cooked chicken?

When I bought my 4 week old naked necks they cost me 20$ each, the 4 week old silkies 10$ each.

What do they have to do, what kind of chicken do they have to raise, factory standards apply, what kind of laws and regulations govern a system that makes a 11.99$ chicken available for me to grab off the shelf and feed to my family?

I am passionate, but also quite lazy, so I'll take you on a short journey of the links I've followed to try and get a straight answer.

IGA Sustainability Consumer Information Page

"Metcash supply fresh chicken products direct from suppliers to IGA stores that choose to purchase them"

On this page IGA goes on to say that they, themselves do not raise nor cull the chickens. Okay, that figures, they'd have alot of work on their hands. So who supplies the chickens, where do they come from? Aha, these guys!

"It is important to note that IGA stores are independently owned and operated, and service the needs and wants of their consumers. Each store makes their own purchasing decisions, which is driven by customer demand and delivering a range that suits their needs and the needs of local towns and communities.   

Consumers can also ask their local IGA directly if they would like to see a certain product in store."
Okay, will do, buddy. Next time I go in their I'll point to their "Fresh and loca produce!" sign and ask them if they also supply local meat products. 

Metcash Food & Grocery

"MF&G is a marketing and distribution specialist, supplying dry grocery and fresh foods to independent grocery stores."

So these guys are just a huge distribution center, basically. I'll assume that means they get the food from a hundred or so other sources, buy it, ship it, package it as cheaply as they can and sell it to other retailers.

Lenards and IGA

And then you have this page, which seems to state that Lenards chicken is also supplied by Metcash. But if you go here:"You are here: Home > Chicken Facts > Our Freshness Guarantee Okay, well here they just go on to say " At Lenard's Chicken we use only the best and freshest. In fact, we take it so seriously that we guarantee it.
That's why we use healthy barn-raised chickens, with no added hormones or steroids.
And because we make our products fresh right here in store with quality, naturally delicious ingredients, we ensure you get the very best every time.
So if you're not satisfied that we're delivering on our promise, ask for your money back.
For more information on our chickens, our ingredients or nutrition please ask our friendly staff in store or reveiw Product Details here online."

Well that doesn't tell me jack shit either, and these people really seem to be giving me the run around.

TLDR: Most IGA's get their chicken from Metcash(basically a big warehouse) and we dunno, lol, where these chickens come from and some IGAs don't get their chickens from Metcash so just ask your local IGA manager today!

In summary, I get no real answer. Until I find out how and where these animals lived and died I won't be purchasing whole roasted chickens from IGA, and will be encouraging others to find out their own truth.

Edit: I've taken a moment to write a quick note to the CEO of Metcash, let's see what he says. I'll keep you guys posted :)

"Hello CEO of Metcash,

I was simply wondering what you could tell me about where the company (who I understand supplies my local IGA) gets their supply of chickens from and what sort of further information I could get about the topic. For example; how are the chickens raised, what breed, what is their age of slaughter, are antibiotics used and  what are their living and slaughtering conditions?

Thanks in advance."