Phil-Baxter-(centre)-with-Tom-Copas-(left)Phil-Baxter (centre) with Tom Copas (left)

Traditional family business Cottage Farm Turkeys has taken the Anglian Turkey Association’s (ATA) top honours for the second year running.

The company, based at Cudham, near Sevenoaks, Kent, won the Association’s annual championship with the winner of the over 8kg hen class, and also collected trophies for the best brace of white turkeys and butcher’s retail presentation.

Owned by former teacher Phil Baxter, Cottage Farm Turkeys rears birds throughout the year, including 3,000 for the Christmas market.

See also: Cottage Farm Turkey’s 2014 successes

Mr Baxter combines farming with a substantial butchery business at Polhill Garden Centre, Badgers Mount, Sevenoaks, which supplies meat to more than 400 caterers, restaurants, pubs and schools.

The annual show, held at Stoke-by-Nayland, is the only survivor of the once flourishing regional traditional turkey shows, and this year attracted entries from across East Anglia and the South East.

Judge Tom Copas, of Copas Turkeys, Cookham, Berkshire, awarded the other trophies to FW Weeks of Laylands Farm, Downham, Essex (stag under 11kg and hen under 5.5kg); Phil Hunter of Yewtree Farm, Fressingfield, Suffolk (hen 5.5-8kg) and Ian Wylie of Carlton, Newmarket (brace of bronze turkeys).

James Marriage, director of feed supplier W&H Marriage and Sons, said the standard of the birds was first class: “The ATA is grateful for the support shown by the region’s turkey farmers, particularly at this busy time. Once again, the standard of the birds was excellent and a champion hard to find.”


Stephen Lister and Derek Kelly

The Goodchild trophy, for services to the traditional “farm fresh” sector, was presented to Stephen Lister, a partner in Crowshall Veterinary Services, Attleborough.

Mr Lister, a past president of the Turkey Club of Great Britain, is currently chair of the organising committee of the Egg and Poultry Industry Conference and UK secretary of the World Poultry Science Association.

Presenting the award, ATA president Derek Kelly spoke of Mr Lister’s valued services over more than 35 years, as well as his considerable input to the poultry industry.