Pioneer Foodservice, of Carlisle, has had record sales of turkey
meat this Christmas and New Year.
The assurances of British-reared birds amid scares over avian
flu and imported meat helped boost the firm's sales of turkey meat
by 2,500kg on last Christmas.
Pioneer, which runs its food service sales from its headquarters
in Carlisle and has retail sales outlets in the city as well as
in Harrington, west Cumbria and Gateshead, has sold only British
farm-assured turkey to its catering clients and the general public
for many years.
All the birds are supplied by specialist free range turkey farmer
John Martin's Lincs Turkeys who rears the bronze birds on his farm
at the foot of the Lincolnshire Wolds in an area of rich, unspoilt
countryside. The birds are reared in small flocks and they have
daylight access to green paddocks, are traditionally housed in
barns and are bred for flavour and tenderness.
"We have never deviated from buying these British farm assured
turkeys because of their quality and product consistency. This
year sales have benefited from the assurance that these birds are
British reared to high standards amid the bird flu scares abroad," said
Pioneer's sales director David Jenkins.
"It's encouraging to see that the traditional turkey dinner
at Christmas is still important and that our sales across the north
of England, particularly in the north east, have broken all our
records," he added.
While sales of whole turkeys, and increasingly boneless crown
roasts, are at their peak over the festive season, regular sales
of turkey meat from Pioneer throughout the year reflect its popularity.
In the run-up to Christmas the British Poultry Council was re-assuring
consumers that they could buy British turkey with confidence and
stressing Food Standards Authority advice was that the risk of
catching the disease came from being in close contact with live
poultry which had the disease.
John Martin, managing director of Lincs Turkeys, said: "We
have also had a record Christmas for turkey sales although three
months ago we were very concerned that the consumer would turn
away from poultry generally.
"However, the British public has shown that they have confidence
in the quality British turkey and they have decided that they want
to buy a product which is totally traceable and raised to high
"Pioneer's policy of buying British meats irrespective of
the price compared with imports has paid dividends."
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