Cherry picking

Bernard Matthews is set to become the country's largest organic turkey producer following work to finalise a deal with Norfolk-based Cherryridge.

Bernard Matthews is set to become the country's largest organic turkey producer following work to finalise a deal with Norfolk-based Cherryridge, the UK's largest producer of organic turkeys, which recently announced its factory will close.

The development marks Bernard Matthews' first foray into organic turkey farming and fast-tracks its entry into a growing market. Cherryridge produces 180,000 whole turkeys and cuts a year, all destined for the British market.

The factory will shut on 22 December with 75 made redundant. The company will then become a contract grower for Bernard Matthews. Bernard Matthews will look to honour all existing Cherryridge trading arrangements, with the deal set to be finalised very soon, it said on Tuesday.

"This is a great opportunity for Bernard Matthews to bring organic and free range turkeys to the general public by making them more affordable and available," said Bart Dalla Mura, Bernard Matthews' commercial director. "When Cherryridge approached us we saw this as an opportunity to bring affordable organic and free range turkey to the market sooner," he added.

Bernard Matthews will initially offer organic turkey steaks and joints, and whole organic turkey. The new range will be available next year.

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