Celebrity chef campaigner Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall today lost in his battle to force Tesco to invest in improving living conditions for the chickens it sells.
Fearnley-Whittingstall had called on shareholders at today's Annual General Meeting to vote through a resolution to improve welfare standards for chickens.
He is alleging that the company breaches the "Five Freedoms" concept proposed by the Farm Animal Welfare Council.
These include: Freedom from hunger and thirst; freedom from discomfort, freedom from pain, injury and disease, freedom to express normal behaviour and freedom from fear and distress.
But only 10% of Tesco shareholders who voted by proxy backed the chef, with the overall majority supporting the company's position.
Tesco has consistently defended its position, insisting that it is "totally committed to poultry welfare", and meets farm assurance standards.
The supermarket giant also said that if it implemented the changes Fearnley-Whittingstall has proposed, it would add £1 to the cost of a chicken.
The chef was forced to raise £86,000 in order to address the AGM.
By Daniel Thomas