An article in the Daily Mail today reveals that Marks & Spencer has become the first high street retailer to sell whole red grouse (see here).
Initially, only two London stores will sell it, as a bit of a trial run – Kensington High Street and Marble Arch – with the possibility of extending to other stores if sales are favourable.
Interestingly, the grouse are being sourced from grouse moors in Yorkshire and Northumberland. Why is this interesting? Well, M&S claims to have a strong policy on food sourcing, including a ‘named farmer’ scheme and a farm assurance scheme ‘which guarantees high quality food production’ (see here) and high specifications for animal welfare (see here). Now, North Yorkshire (full of grouse moors) just happens to be one of the worst raptor persecution hotspots in the whole of the UK (see here).
So, how will Marks and Spencer assure their customers that their red grouse have been responsibly sourced from grouse moors that are not poisoning, shooting and trapping protected species such as hen harriers, red kites, buzzards, peregrines, goshawks etc?
The Executive Director of food at M&S is Steve Rowe. Let’s ask him from where, exactly, are the red grouse sourced (name of grouse moor) and how, exactly, can he assure customers that the moors are not involved in wildlife crime? Here is his email address: email@example.com