Kelly Turkeys has invested £300,000 in its Great Baddow processing plant near Chelmsford, Essex, which will enable it to gain accreditation from the British Retail Consortium (BRC).

The exterior fabric and internal walls and ceilings are now based on food-grade, composite panels that provide better insulation and are easier to clean, the firm said. A new chill control regime for cooling the turkeys has also been installed, along with an energy-efficient pack system for refrigeration.

Now, the facility has 1400m sq of refrigerated storage and can process up to 55,000 turkeys for the Christmas market. Staff facilities have also been improved.

“The original plant was built in 1994 using second-hand materials and required an increasing amount of maintenance work,” said Paul Kelly, managing director of Kelly Turkeys. “We’re excited about this development, which will enable the plant to readily meet BRC’s audit requirements.

“It will also open up new opportunities for further processing in the future.”

The reconstruction took place during the autumn and the plant is now processing turkeys again.

Kelly Turkeys has made a major investment in its pedigree farm and hatchery over the past five years, and has also dipped a toe in the American market – selling a traditionally reared bird that was once a USA custom, but has fallen out of fashion in the states.

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