High wheat prices this autumn suggests that most producers of Christmas turkeys will have to increase prices by at least 10% to recover extra costs said Paul Kelly of Kelly Turkeys, this year’s winner of the EB Equipment Poultry Farmer of the Year 2007 category of the Farmers Weekly Awards.
In his annual letter to retailers, Mr Kelly says that NFU cost analysis has shown that for quality Christmas turkeys the average costs are higher by 10–15%. Where feed was bought forward early in the year when wheat prices were not as high, the extra costs are lower keeping the increase down to 8.9%.
Massive cutbacks in round the year production, indicate that turkeys are likely to be in short supply for Christmas. Prices for mainstream turkey will more than likely rise by about 22% on current prices, according to Mr Kelly.
However, he points to the diversity of the turkey market and that the top end is not price sensitive, with one premium KellyBronze selling for as much as five frozen turkeys. He also predicted retail prices of £1.20 to £2.50/kg for the 4.5million frozen turkeys compared to £7.70 to £12.50/kg for the 375,000 traditional farm fresh bronze.