Boots Boycott

At university, maybe once a week or two, instead of taking my own sandwiches, I’d get a Boots meal deal on campus. You know the drill, you get a sandwich/wrap/pasta dish, snack and a drink for £3.29, or £2.99 if you have a 30p off voucher. They have a good range of sandwiches and when you get points on your Boots card, what’s not to like?

Well I found a slight problem.

Boots meal deal

It’s the chicken.

I haven’t had a bad piece of chicken in any sandwich I’ve had from Boots, it’s more about where the chicken comes from. A few months ago I started to become more aware of where the food we buy comes from, and made a more conscious effort to buy British where possible. It struck me as strange that I will only buy fresh uncooked British chicken in the supermarket, but I’ve never stopped to look at other types of chicken I eat, such as in pre-made sandwiches. So one day, I looked all over the sandwich box for confirmation that the chicken was British.

I saw no British flag, nor any other information as to where the chicken came from, so I emailed customer services to find out. Their response is below.

I have investigated this with our Product Team and I can confirm that for Boots sandwiches and salads we source chicken from Britain, Europe and Thailand.

This means that the chicken I was eating could have come from as far away as Thailand. I understand that the farms they buy from will have met welfare and safety standards, but I think that importing chicken (an animal we have plenty of here in the UK) is ridiculous. I read a book called If The World Were A Village, which outlines that if the whole world was condensed into a village of 100 people, there would be 189 chickens. Meaning there are billions of these creatures on the planet, and hundreds of thousands here in the UK, too.

I think many consumers may assume that the chicken in their sandwiches is British. Some retailers are committed to sourcing British and local ingredients, but Boots isn’t one of them. So I am now boycotting Boots sandwiches and meal deals until I see that the chicken and pork used are British.

Where does your chicken come from?
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