Goose producers to take a gander at Essex farm

GOOSE producers from all over the UK will be converging on an Essex farm next week to see how the Blackwell family have expanded their output by 50% in the past six years to supply growing Christmas demand.

Howard and Jane Blackwell will be hosting members of British Goose Producers at Herons Farm, Coggeshall, near Colchester, on Friday October 21.

The couple are rearing almost 1900 geese this autumn.

They are finding increasing demand from all sections of the market, from the farmgate and butchers to food halls, pubs and restaurants.

They are also benefiting from setting up the Rare Breed Meat Company. They launched the company in 2004 to supply this trade mainly inside the M25.

More than 200 geese are sold through their own farm shop, which was a finalist in the Best Farm Shop competition run by Essex Life magazine.

The farm is on the celebrated Marks Hall estate, where the Blackwell family have been rearing poultry in the traditional style for four generations.

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Today, they produce geese, turkeys and Gloucester Old Spot pigs.

The Rare Breed Meat Company sells free range, traditional and niche products, with a team of butchers supplying carcase and portioned meat, home made pies, pastries and ready meals.

“We’re committed to local suppliers and over 90% of the produce we market is sourced within 20 miles of Herons Farm,” said Mr Blackwell.