Free-range turkey farmer Mark Gorton has said the 2013 season was Traditional Norfolk Poultry’s (TNP) best ever, with sales of Christmas birds up 35%. He added chicken had also sold well between October and December, when compared with the previous year.

Mr Gorton said: “We’re delighted – especially as we’re celebrating 25 years since we started TNP with just 25 turkeys.” The firm today draws its poultry from around 35 farms to a 35,000sq ft processing factory at Shropham, Norfolk, and sells produce into major retailers.

Birds are slow grown to the RSPCA Freedom Food standard. “Many consumers are looking for an excellent free-range turkey for what is the most important meal of the year,” added Mr Gorton.

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“Quality and welfare go hand in hand, and welfare is at the heart of all our agricultural descisions. If you don’t look after your animals you won’t have a business.”

Mr Gorton is joint owner of TNP. He and business partner David Garner were Farmers Weekly’s Poultry Farmer of the Year in 2012.