Free-range turkeys© Artur Widak/NurPhoto/REX/ Shutterstock

Butchers suggesting there is little point in shoppers paying for a crown, as they charge for a whole turkey anyway, was welcome news for producers at this year’s Anglian Turkey Association “post-mortem” meeting.

That was the strategy adopted by Gareth Doherty and Greg Strolenberg, of Lavenham Butchers, Suffolk, who offered a talk on their second year of trading. They said turkey sales had been strong, with consumers generally seeking 4-5kg whole birds this year.

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But actively discouraging the sale of crowns was necessary, and making sure the story behind the bird and the farm it was reared on was told helped in this. They added shoppers could also be convinced buying just the crown was wasteful.

The trend of leaving orders until the last minute showed no sign of abating, they added, and this presented a problem for both farmers and butchers, who have to commit to numbers months earlier.

Further insight was offered by Kelly Turkey’s Phil Regan, who explained why internet orders are now the cornerstone of Christmas sales.

A full analysis of turkey trade over the festive season, and what farmers are planning for the coming year, will appear in February’s Poultry World.

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