MP urges action on sale of foie gras from Fortnum & Mason

17:36 28 November 2012

The Queen on a visit to Fortnum and Mason with the Duchess of Cornwall and the Duchess of Cambridge earlier this year. File picture: Paul Grover/PA Wire

The Queen on a visit to Fortnum and Mason with the Duchess of Cornwall and the Duchess of Cambridge earlier this year. File picture: Paul Grover/PA Wire

PA Archive/Press Association Images

The Queen and the Prince of Wales have been urged to take away Fortnum & Mason’s Royal Warrants because it sells foie gras.

Caroline Lucas MP has written to The Queen and Prince Charles. File picture: PA WireCaroline Lucas MP has written to The Queen and Prince Charles. File picture: PA Wire

The London store has been accused of touting the prestigious awards while “improperly” promoting the luxury food to its customers.

Green MP Caroline Lucas pointed to an investigation by the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (Peta) pressure group earlier this year that allegedly uncovered cruelty to geese at one of the store’s French suppliers - claims Fortnum’s said at the time it would investigate.

Fortnum’s website states its foie gras is “produced by just two farms carefully selected for their excellent welfare standards”.

Ms Lucas has written to the Lord Chamberlain calling for the two warrants the prestigious store holds not to be renewed.

She wrote: “Fortnum & Mason trades on its Englishness. It touts the Royal Warrants awarded to them. Its CSR (corporate social responsibility policy) 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.”

Foie gras force-feeding is outlawed in the UK, but the product is still available from fine food specialists and in restaurants.

Fortnum & Mason was granted a Royal Warrant by the Queen in 1955 with a second awarded by the Prince of Wales in 1996.

Royal Warrants last for five years and are reviewed by the Lord Chamberlain’s Committee after four to assess whether they will be renewed but the royal household has the final say over which companies get the prestigious mark of recognition.

Ms Lucas added: “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.”

A spokesman replied: “Fortnum and Mason is a traditional retailer who over the centuries has established a strong reputation for supplying certain traditional foods, amongst which is foie gras.

“As a retailer we are here to provide our customers with the products they ask for, including foie gras, and we respect their right to buy and enjoy the foods they like.

“However we uphold strict guidelines relating to the making of foie gras and work to the best of our abilities to ensure that these gold standard production requirements are upheld at all times by the suppliers we use.”

Sign up for our news alerts today!

Our editors' picks for the day's top news delivered to your inbox or phone.

Sign up for email alerts Sign up for mobile alerts
1
2 3 4 5 6
7

Latest London news

Friday, August 28, 2015
Jeremy Corbyn.

A disposable coffee cup used by Jeremy Corbyn as sold in an online auction for £51.

Friday, August 28, 2015
She was playing with her family in Hanworth Park when she was hit by the pellet that could have killed her (Photo: Google StreetView)

The little girl was running from her mother to her grandfather in Hanworth Park when they heard a loud noise like an air rifle shot.

Police say she could have been killed.

Friday, August 28, 2015
Police are investigating a rape in Park Road on Sunday

A crime scene has been set up after a woman reported being raped in Muswell Hill in the early hours of Sunday morning.

Friday, August 28, 2015
Dodgy disguise: The men robbed the pawnbrokers dressed all in black

Two men who dressed in burkas to rob a pawnbrokers in Brixton’s famous Atlantic Road have been jailed for 20 years.

Friday, August 28, 2015
On second thoughts, just stay at home

We know you’re eager to make the most of the long weekend, so check out our guide to avoid spending it stuck in traffic or at the train station as you try to get around London.

What is this?

Near You Now

Don't Miss...

Competitions

Shop till you drop!

Home to top name brands at great prices, TK Maxx is more like a treasure hunt than a shop. Perfect for grabbing a bargain or some hidden gems, you arm yourself with a trolley and go wild.

Read more
Scones, jam and a cup of Earl Grey anyone?

Luxury boutique hotel Flemings Mayfair has recently launched The Drawing Room, London’s most stylish location for afternoon tea.

Read more
Free weekly shop? Yes please!

Win £200 to spend at Asda, one of the country’s leading supermarkets. Asda prides itself in being one of the cheapest places to shop, so you can be sure that your money will go a long way here.

Read more