Farmers and butchers should play to their strengths in competing for the Christmas turkey market, according to Paul Kelly, managing director of Kelly Turkeys in his annual letter to poult customers.

“The major retailers are no longer content with selling average turkeys,” he said. “They are looking to supply better quality turkeys with points of difference. But the farmer and butcher have some very strong cards to play — points of difference that the major retailers will not be able to match in any volume.”


In his letter, Kelly highlighted the perceived value of meeting the local butcher or collecting from the farm, dry processing and hanging to mature flavor. He also provided a three-point plan for maximizing opportunity: 

  • Look long and hard at the prices the supermarkets charge. “Over my travels around the country I see too many producers underselling themselves,” said Kelly.
  • Grow enough turkeys to satisfy spikes in demand and weight ranges in your known market. 
  • Buy as-hatched poults for one third of your order, which with two-thirds sexed hens will provide a spread of weights to suit just about every order book.