The owner of an award-winning 15,000-acre organic farm issued a stark warning as the crisis in the poultry industry deepens.
As avian flu continues to impact available stocks of birds UK-wide, Lord Newborough – owner of Rhug Estate in North Wales – urged people to secure their Christmas orders well ahead to avoid disappointment.
The UK has lost more than 40% of its free-range turkey flock to bird flu and resulting culls, putting the industry under huge pressure at its most crucial time of the year.
It is the country's worst-ever outbreak and has left butchers nationwide without supplies as the strain is particularly strong and virulent around turkey and geese.
Lord Newborough encouraged people to order soon and not miss out, and to consider other options such as beef, lamb, and pork when purchasing festive produce.
“Rhug Estate is taking a big gamble to ensure its customers have only the very best turkeys this Christmas,” he said.
“It is nail biting stuff and a race against time for many of us given how rapidly avian flu is spreading, but I believe a fresh turkey must be your first choice – better than one previously frozen – so we will continue as we are and encourage people to order all their meat requirements for the Christmas period in advance.”
Rhug Estate is recognised as one of the UK's leading producers of high-quality meats and was appointed a Royal Warrant of Appointment by the now King Charles III for its care of the countryside and high animal welfare standards.
Its Organic Dee Valley Bronze Turkey was a recipient of the 1* Great Taste Award and voted a ‘best buy' in The Independent newspaper, as well as being featured on the menu at Michelin-starred venues and leading restaurants globally, from London to Singapore.
The birds also made the news in past years for the stress-free life they live on the Estate, roaming free range for more than six months ahead of Christmas, feeding on organic farm oats and listening to classical music.
Lord Newborough added:
“This was already a very busy time of year and of course one we all look forward to, so it's such a shame this crisis has spiralled in past weeks.
“But we still have hundreds of turkeys and geese available and are here to support suppliers and customers with whatever they need.”
Turkeys are scheduled for delivery the week commencing December 19 and if pre-ordered for collection will include a free garnish pack.
If you would like your turkey as a Crown, call 01490 413000, email [email protected] or visit the website: www.rhug.co.uk/product/rhug-estate-organic-dee-valley-bronze-turkey
For more news and information including upcoming events, visit www.rhug.co.uk and follow them on social media @rhugestate.