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Stackyard News Jan 06

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British farm assured turkey sales soar

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 welfare standards.

"Pioneer's policy of buying British meats irrespective of the price compared with imports has paid dividends."

link No bird flu risk from properly cooked poultry and eggs
link Avian Influenza Shouldn't Stop Farm-Fresh Turkeys Being Gobbled At Christmas
link Threat to future supplies of wild game meat

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