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Will grape-fed premium turkey, reared in Essex, become new must-have luxury for Christmas dining tables?

PUBLISHED: 11:16 23 November 2018 | UPDATED: 12:06 23 November 2018

One of Kelly Turkeys' free range turkeys Picture: ANDREW PARTRIDGE

One of Kelly Turkeys' free range turkeys Picture: ANDREW PARTRIDGE

Archant

A small batch of carefully reared, grape-fed Essex turkeys are set to go on sale at luxury London retailer Harrods in time for Christmas.

Father and son Derek and Paul Kelly of KellyBronze Turkeys in Danbury  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNFather and son Derek and Paul Kelly of KellyBronze Turkeys in Danbury Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Paul Kelly of Danbury-based premium turkey producer Kelly Turkeys said he was “thrilled” to announce that a limited number of his grape-fed KellyBronze turkeys will be available exclusively at the flagship department store this winter.

He got the idea after learning that about 5% of the UK grape crop goes to waste as fallen fruit - the equivalent of about 500kg an acre.

After discovering his turkeys were partial to the fruit, he decided to release a small flock of 200 to roam among the vines at Roundbush Farm for a fortnight.

“I felt there was a terrible amount of produce going to waste at the vineyards, so I had the idea to let a flock of our turkeys run under the vines to consume the leftover grapes, and it worked - they literally gobbled them up,” he said. “I’ve come to recognise that when the turkeys love a certain type food, it’s a very good sign. It goes a long way towards their overall wellbeing and ultimately, the quality of the meat. This has been previously proven with the inclusion of certain oats in our turkey feed, which improves the fat and flavour of the birds.”

Kelly Bronze Turkeys  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNKelly Bronze Turkeys Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Meanwhile, Paul’s online Christmas sales continue to grow rapidly.

Premium turkey producer’s Christmas sales hit new high

But the producer has previously warned of problems for the poultry sector if Brexit chokes off its supply of labour and hits access to markets.

Essex poultry leader in access to labour warning




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