Gressingham Foods Investigated | Viva! - The Vegan Charity

Gressingham Foods Investigated

Gressingham Foods Investigated

Viva! and Gressingham Foods have a long history. We previously filmed at their units back in 1999 and 2004, when they went under the name Green Label. Since then they have bought out their nearest rivals and are now one of the biggest duck producers in Britain. Gressingham Foods supply many of the main supermarket chains, so we decided to pay them a return visit to see if welfare conditions had improved.

The first thing to strike our investigators was what can only be described as an apartheid system for ducks, with industrial units surrounded by free range birds, their fate dictated simply by how much consumers are willing to pay. On this first visit, the birds in the shed were young, just losing the last of their yellow feathers. A chorus of high pitched quacks greeted us, as they repeatedly called for a mother who would never come. Already, life in the shed was taking its toll: some birds had trouble walking, crippled at just two weeks old. We returned to the same farm about four weeks later. The ducks were now only a few days away from being sent to the slaughterhouse – which was almost certainly the only time they would ever see the outside. Disturbingly, a number of birds had abnormally bent necks. Most of these ducks suffered from ‘crusty eye’, which shows that they were unable to preen sufficiently.

One duck, his neck painfully contorted, struggled to drink from a bell drinker. Other ducks were evidently lame, awkwardly scrabbling across the floor. Nothing really changes. We have filmed scenes like this time and time again. No matter what rough edges are sanded off, factory farming is fundamentally flawed. That is why we are invigorating our campaign to end factory farming for good – and set Britain’s favourite bird free once and for all. Please join us.

Please help to get Christmas shoppers everywhere to reject duck for a veggie feast with two new free leaflets (one exposing duck suffering and the other with lip smacking ideas for a veggie Christmas) and posters outside Sainsbury’s stores. The chain – which is supplied by Gressingham Foods – should stop supporting cruelty now. Let’s persuade their customers to say no to duck misery by simply refusing to buy duck meat! Get involved! Find out more at or phone 0117 944 1000 (Mon-Fri, 9am-6pm); email for your free materials. Day of Action against Sainsbury’s for ducks Saturday, December 12 Gressingham Foods