1980’s advert from Bernard Mathews for his Roaster Chickens.

Bernard Matthews was founded by Bernard Trevor Matthews in 1950. Bernard Matthews is a British turkey farmer headquartered in Norwich in Norfolk, England, United Kingdom, with 56 farms throughout Norfolk, Suffolk and Lincolnshire. All the company’s turkey eggs are hatched at their own hatchery at Great Witchingham, Norfolk and have been for over 55 years. The company breeds and rears both indoor and free range turkeys on its farms, making Bernard Matthews an integrated agricultural business. The Company is also the largest free range turkey farmer in the UK.

The company offers a range of cooked, fresh and frozen British turkey, including products such as oven ready whole birds, joints, formed portions, cooked meats and meal accompaniments, which accounts for over 90% of the business. Bernard Matthews also produces chicken and ham products which currently use imported meat. The company has committed to reviewing the sourcing of its ham and chicken products with a target of the end of 2010 for all of them to use 100% British meat.”Our Business“.

Bernard Matthews farms 7 million turkeys every year in the UK, fed on a cereal-based diet from the Company’s own feed mills in Norfolk, containing wheat sourced in East Anglia. They claim not to use any hormones or growth promoters nor battery farm turkeys – although most of its turkeys are intensively-farmed, indoor-reared birds.

In July 2008 Bernard Matthews unveiled details of its business recovery plan and brand relaunch. This plan aims to reposition the company for growth and has three key elements: refocusing back on British Turkey farming and production, making products that better meet the needs of consumers today, and championing British Agriculture.

In 2007, Bernard Matthews recorded a 9.5 per cent drop in sales for continuing operations to £326 million as a result of the outbreak of the H5N1 strain of Avian Influenza. This outbreak resulted in widespread publicising of the intensive-farming conditions under which most of the company’s turkeys are reared. The company expects to return to profitable growth during 2008 following a new marketing and advertising campaign from the Autumn.

 

Info taken from Wikipedia

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