Fire damages major organic turkey site in run-up to Christmas

One of the UK’s largest privately owned organic poultry companies, which processes thousands of traditional turkeys, has been hit by a major fire during the run-up to Christmas .

But the owners of Capestone Organics in Pembrokeshire said the fire was confined to a workshop, did not spread to the processing unit or buildings housing poultry, and will not affect pre-Christmas production.

See also: Capestone profiled as finalist in FW Awards

“Fortunately the workshop is on the other side of the road from the rest of the site so the fire was isolated to that area,” Justin Scale, who runs the family-owned business from his farm near Walwyn’s Castle, told Farmers Weekly.

A fire at an organic poultry site

© Martin Cavaney

“We don’t know yet what caused the fire and are very grateful to the fire brigade for bringing it under control quickly.”

The fire, which was accelerated by fuel in a storage area and resulted in a series of minor explosions, badly damaged the building.

Mr Scale admitted it was a busy time of the year for the company but there would be no interruption to its ability to meet orders promptly and in full.

“It is business as usual,” said Mr Scale, a fifth-generation farmer who heads the 365ha fully integrated poultry farm.

Poultry unharmed

No poultry were harmed in the blaze, he confirmed.

Mid and West Wales Fire Service said a number of fire engines had been involved in tackling the fire.

The road near the scene was closed while emergency services dealt with the situation.

Capeston Organics, whose customers include major retailers and London food halls, produces 20,000 organic chickens a week in addition to free-range birds.

It has been specialising in growing poultry since the 1920s.

In December, it employs 120 staff in addition to 70 full time employees to meet Christmas orders.

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