Chicken Out is a campaign project led by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall to improve the welfare for broiler chickens (meat birds) in the UK. The television programme, Chicken, Hugh and Tesco Too broadcast in January 2009 on Channel 4. The website www.chickenout.tv was live throughout production of the television programme and continues to be live today.
Chicken Out was a ground breaking digital media project in that it was the first example of its kind to use digital media tools in a shareholder activist campaign.
The campaign involved the filing of a resolution at the Tesco Plc Annual General Meeting. The resolution was a formal demand of the company to either improve their animal welfare standards relating to meat chickens or amend their animal welfare policy to be honest. Critical support for the resolution was obtained via the website, in order to meet 3 key hurdles:
1. Have the support of at least 100 shareholders who held at least £200,000 worth of investment between them in order to file the resolution
2. Raise £86,888 within 2.5 days in order to pay a postal bill to circulate the resolution to all shareholders
3. Attract the voting support of as many shareholders as possible in order to force the company, Tesco Plc to respond in a positive way
The Chicken Out website was awarded the IMA 2009 Outstanding Achievement Award.