28 April 1995

Goose trade on way up

GOOSE production for the Christmas and, to a lesser extent,

Michaelmas markets appears to be gathering momentum. The recent annual meeting of the British Goose Producers Association heard claims that Christmas geese sales last year were about 400,000, with several members reporting sales growth of up to 25%.

One of the main issues discussed was the EU legislation concerning on-farm poultry processing. Tom Copas, chairman of the Traditional Farmfresh Turkey Association and Britains biggest producer of traditional turkeys for Christmas at 15,000 a year, described some of the new rules as "red tape gone mad".

He highlighted the requirement for medical examinations of all staff plucking birds, the need to sterilise knives between use on every bird and low temperature storage rules as just three of the costly requirements for processors needing low throughput licences.

Next BGPAmeeting will be a farm walk and goose cooking demonstration on Tue, Oct 10. It will be at 200ha (500-acre) Wals-grove Farm, Great Witley, Worcs, where BGPA vice-chairman Judy Goodman and family produce 3000 free-range geese a year.