Traditional Norfolk Poultry is poised to launch a new breed and product later this month – the Norfolk Black free-range chicken.
Planning for the new bird started almost three years ago and the work will culminate with a presentation to retailers, restaurateurs and food journalists in London on 27 September.
"We have been producing Norfolk Black turkeys for the past six or seven years, and have seen that business really take off, so we thought, 'Wouldn't it be great to have a Norfolk Black chicken'?" said TNP director Mark Gorton.
"The bird has been carefully bred to give the right visual appearance, but more importantly, taste."
Having developed the genetic cross and conducted trials with different production systems and rations, the company has now established three of its own breeding flocks. Its first commercial flocks are also well advanced.
The free-range birds will be slaughtered at 63 days old to produce a 1.6kg carcass, which will be retailed at the premium end of the market and sold to top restaurants.
More on this topic
For the full story of the Norfolk Black chicken, see next month's Poultry World.