Modest rise in goose prices predicted

A wet summer is expected to help move the price of goose meat up slightly, according to the chairman of the British Goose Producers (BGP) John Franklin.

During the annual BGP farm walk, he forecast a modest rise in retail goose prices, around 2%, to counter increases in labour and feed costs.

According to Franklin, the wet weather has provided plentiful grass through the summer months benefiting the growth of geese, which do derive nourishment from grazing.  

Also speaking on the walk was Shraddha Kaul, public affairs manager of British Poultry Council. She discussed the heavy reliance of the poultry industry on labour from other EU countries.

“Migrant labour makes up more than 60% of those employed in the poultry meat industry,” she said.  “As an organisation, we are lobbying to clarify and protect the rights of these workers, who play an important role in the productivity and efficiency of the industry.  It will be quite a challenge for the future.”

This year’s walk took place on Johnson & Swarbrick in the village of Goosnargh, near Preston, Lancashire.

Better known for its top-quality Goosnargh corn-fed duck and chickens, the family business of Johnson & Swarbrick has been rearing Christmas geese for the past 10 years and will have around 1,000 on the market this year.

They have recently moved into supplying goose and duck feathers and down for manufacture of duvets and pillows. Visitors saw the plant used for washing and drying the feathers, which are stored in long blue sacks about 4 metres (13ft) tall.

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