Chicken Tycoon Criticized for Sending Gifts to UK MPs
Members of the House of Commons' Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee said Ranjit Singh Boparan's gifts were an “inappropriate gesture.”
British businessman Ranjit Singh Boparan was recently chided by UK parliamentarians for sending them gift boxes while they investigate his company about a hygiene scandal.
The owner of poultry company 2Sisters, also known as UK’s Chicken King, sent boxes of biscuits to MPs part of the House of Commons’ Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee. They responded to him saying it was an “inappropriate gesture.”
Neil Parish, the chairman of the committee, said the gifts to several MPs were an “unwarranted attempt to impugn the Committee’s impartiality.” The unsolicited gifts were either returned or given to food banks.
“I would be grateful if you would respect the integrity and independence of the committee and avoid similar gestures in future,” he said in a letter to Ranjit Boparan.
Half of the MPs on the committee received food hampers worth around £100 carrying Viennese biscuits and chocolate cookies manufactured by Boparan-owned Fox biscuits, Paul Flynn, Labour MP for Newport West, told The Daily Telegraph.
“It was approximately eight packets of Fox’s and Own Brand Biscuits which we send every year to a number of external stakeholders as a goodwill gesture at Christmas. We have responded formally to Parish explaining this,” a 2 Sisters Group spokesperson said, according to the Press Trust of India.
In 2017, an undercover investigation by the Guardian and ITV news revealed that staff were changing the dates of products to extend its shelf life and products that had fallen on the ground were also being packed for consumption. Departmental stores like Aldi, Lidl, and Marks and Spencer had suspended purchases from 2Sisters after the revelation.
“We absolutely apologize for the doubt this has caused to our customers, consumers and employees,” Boparan told MPs of the parliamentary committee on Oct. 25. “These four weeks have been very difficult for a lot of people. Mistakes happen but what we try to do is learn from the mistakes and put them right,” he had said.