Oliver hits out at Sainsbury's

Jamie Oliver has hit out at his retail paymasters after Sainsbury's refused to take part in a TV debate on poultry farming.

Oliver, who is paid more than £1m a year by the retail chain, said he had invited the four big supermarkets, Tesco, Sainsbury's, Asda and Morrisons, to speak in a debate on farming methods as part of his Channel 4 documentary Jamie's Fowl Dinners. However, reports claimed they all refused.

Oliver told the Daily Mail: "I am really upset. The question is why didn't they come. What is there to hide?

"It is shocking that the people I work for didn't turn up on the day. I don't know why.

"The fact that your PR department hasn't even got the confidence to turn up and talk about what you do for the millions of people who come through your doors each week.

"Of course the supermarkets should have turned up. How dare they not? I was really upset."

However, Sainsbury's defended its actions, pointing out that its head of brand had given Oliver an interview for the programme. "It's not true to suggest that we didn't participate in the making of the programme," said a spokeswoman.