Traditional Farm-fresh Turkey Association (TFTA) members Will and Kate Martin have been able to expand their business thanks to funding through the Cornwall EU-backed LEADER project.
The couple took over Treway Farm, near St Austell, 10 years ago and started by rearing beef cattle and growing arable crops, along with a few turkeys,
However, the turkey enterprise became so popular that it has grown every year. Turkeys arrive on the farm in Jun as day old poults from Kelly Turkeys and the flock roam free outdoors. Birds are fed a diet of pellets procured from a local supplier and crushed barley that is grown on the farm,
They are the only producer in Cornwall to be accredited with the TFTA ‘Golden Turkey Standard’, an assurance scheme that guarantees the highest welfare standards for the birds and stipulates they must be reared using age old traditional methods and fed a natural diet.
The family’s success meant that they needed a large walk-in chiller to hang and store the turkeys leading up to Christmas. They successfully applied for up to £6,000 of LEADER funding and the new chiller has enabled them this year to store 600 turkeys rather than relying on rented equipment.
Kate said the chiller had “enabled us to increase production and has reduced our stress levels ads we now have our own chiller we can rely on.”
The chiller also produces an income as it can be rented out to other Cornish businesses throughout the year when it is not required for turkeys.
With Christmas approaching, the turkeys are processed on the farm where they are dry plucked by hand and are game hung for a minimum of 7 days which gives them a greater depth of flavour and distinctive dark meat. They are then hand finished and packed with herbs into special boxes ready for collection.
The LEADER programme in Cornwall runs until March 2019. Eligible projects should include job creation and fit with themes around increased farm productivity, micro and small enterprise development, farm diversification, rural tourism and services, cultural and heritage activity and forestry productivity.
More information is available at www.localactioncornwall.co.uk