Danbury: Kelly Turkeys supremo receives honorary doctorate from Writtle College

Turkey supremo Paul Kelly is celebrating after scooping an academic accolade and a food VIP award.

Mr Kelly, of Kelly Turkeys in Danbury, Essex, was granted an honorary doctorate degree at Writtle College, University of Essex, in recognition of his services to the agricultural industry.

Earlier in the week he was presented with a Great Taste VIP Award presented at a prestigious Guild of Fine Food awards dinner at the Royal Garden Hotel, London. The new award is sponsored by Woman & Home magazine and he was chosen by its readers.

His university citation says that in addition to establishing the KellyBronze as a household name as the best turkey for Christmas dinner, Paul and his team regularly attend major events promoting British food to the wider audience showing not only how to rear but cook, carve and provide recipes to get the best from their turkey meat.

“Paul works, as does his father, constantly to increase awareness of the industry,” it said. “He and his family participate and support Essex Farming and events. He is a keen supporter of the Essex School Food and Farming Day held at Writtle College annually and promotes agriculture throughout the county.”


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Mr Kelly, who said he was “euphoric” about the two awards so close together, told students and guests at the ceremony at Chelmsford Cathedral that the key to their success was “passion for our farming and the intent to produce what our customer really wants — and not what is convenient and cheap”.

“First and foremost we are farmers, but we also understand the importance of sales and marketing,” he said. “It is every bit as important as our agriculture if not more. Profitable sales are the lifeblood of any company.

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“Our philosophy is what we can do to make it better, and not what we can do to make it cheaper, and at the end of the day quality eventually wins.”

He told students: “Be passionate about what you do, keep smiling through thick and thin, and be utterly grateful for everything you have while striving for everything you want.”

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