Jamie Oliver criticised for £5 million deal with oil giant Shell

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Jamie Oliver has made reported £5 million deal with Shell. (PA Images)
Jamie Oliver has made reported £5 million deal with Shell. (PA Images)

Chef and sustainability activist Jamie Oliver has signed a deal with oil giant Shell worth a reported £5 million.

The 43-year-old chef, whose chain of ‘Jamie’s Italian Restaurants’ have teetered on bankruptcy this year, has made a tie-in deal to stock his own food in Shell petrol stations across the UK.

The business move has angered both his fanbase and politicians. Shell is one of the world’s worst carbon emitters and has been slammed by environmental charities and organisations for decades. It is believed to be responsible of 1.67% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions since 1988.

Labour’s Anna McMorrin, who sits on the The Environmental Audit Committee, told the Mirror Online her disappointment in Oliver’s decision.

“We have seen Sir David Attenborough addressing the UN Climate Change conference about the need to be taking this seriously.

“If Jamie Oliver is there promoting something that exploits fossil fuel, then that’s not taking it seriously,” McMorrin said.

The oil company has a widely reported poor environmental track record. (PA Images)
The oil company has a widely reported poor environmental track record. (PA Images)

Members of the public have also expressed their anger at the reported deal on Twitter. One said ‘shame on’ the chef while another accused him of being ‘money grabbing.’

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The deal comes just three years after Oliver campaigned with the United Nations Environment Programme and was hailed by the organisation as an ‘environmental champion.’ He has tweeted about the danger of climate change and urged members of the public to take more responsibility for how their actions affect the environment.

And in 2009 his show Jamie’s American Road Trip was marketed as an environmental first, as his company made sure the emissions caused by filming and travelling on the show were offset through environmental investments.

At the time Oliver said he felt it was his ‘duty’ to create the show by environmentally friendly and sustainable means.

“My company is serious about helping to prevent climate change and we recognise that with everything we do – but especially with TV programmes like this one – we create a carbon footprint.

“I felt, it was my duty to stand up and say if we’re going to shoot these programmes which involve flying people everywhere, we should make a difference and help save the planet,” he said.

His shock Shell deal likely has a lot to do with the states of his finances, however. His restaurants have been struggling in recent years, resulting in several closing down and an estimated 600 members of staff being made redundant.

He even admitted that this year he was forced to inject £13 million of his own personal funds into the restaurant company to avoid declaring bankruptcy within a matter of hours.


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