We’ll carry on serving foie gras – Fortnum & Mason

Andy McSmith

Despite some grim video footage obtained by the animal rights group, PETA, and a stiff letter from the Tory MP Zac Goldsmith, Fortnum and Mason plan to carry on serving foie gras while they have customers who like the taste of it.

Foie gras is highly controversial, because its production involves force feeding geese with grain until their livers are grossly swollen, before they are slaughtered. Production is banned in many countries, including the UK, and many shops and restaurants here will not serve it. It is banned from all the dining rooms and cafés in the House of Commons.

But the French love it, and there is no law against importing French foie gras, which is what Fortnum and Mason do. Last week, the Tory MP Zac Goldsmith wrote to them saying: “As you will be aware, tradition al ‘la gavage’ foie gras production is banned in the UK and a number of other leading stores such as Selfridges and Harvey Nichols have withdrawn it from sale. I urge you to follow their example.”

But the retailers – who deny that the farm where PETA’s notorious footage was taken is one of their suppliers - say: “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.”

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