In a bid to get the nation gobbling up turkey again, ASDA has exclusively joined forces with one of the UK’s most prestigious poultry farmers to reintroduce a traditional breed of turkey – The Extra Special Slate Blue - an exclusive breed from the 1800’s.
ASDA's Agricultural Manager, Chris Brown looked into re-introducing the special breed, after 33% of ASDA customers said that they would be tucking into delicacies such as guinea fowl, duck and goose as an alternative to Turkey.
ASDA have joined forces with suppliers, Traditional Norfolk Poultry to re-introduce the breed and help pull the Slate Blue from the critically rare list. With as little as 50 breeding pairs left in the UK, the commercial breeding plan introduced through ASDA has increased the breeding flock considerably.
Chris said, “Already we have increased the breeding population of this rare turkey breed seven fold. Customers buying our Extra Special Slate Blue Turkey, will not only enjoy an extremely tasty bird on Christmas day, but will help ensure the survival of an extremely rare breed. The Blue Slate is sure to be a winner this Christmas, and we have already received over 350 enquiries about pre-orders to date.
Mark Gorton, Director of Traditional Norfolk Poultry said, "We are absolutely delighted to be working with ASDA on this project, bringing a traditional Victorian breed of turkey offering for customers, whilst also ensuring the protection of the species for years to come."
Hatched in May this year, ASDA’s exclusive Slate Blue birds are raised free range in a natural environment, fed on an organic grain and are able to fly into surrounding trees. This form of natural exercise allows for the traditional trim shape of the bird and produces a rich flavour and texture.
ASDA is confident that turkey sales will be back on top of the Poultry Poll for 2006/7 with a predicted 23% sales increase this year compared to last year (from 4th December and the 24th December).