Helping Develop Michaelmas Goose Market

NORFOLK, UK - An 'easy start' scheme to help goose producers take advantage of the Michaelmas market without needing to process small numbers of birds is being launched by Norfolk Geese in partnership with Gulliver Geese.
calendar icon 19 March 2008
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Producers will be able to order finished geese to be reared and processed by the partnership, Norfolk Goose Breeders, and then market them in their own locality to develop Michaelmas sales.

"The positive reaction to the 2007 campaign especially from restaurants, has highlighted a market place of great potential at Michaelmas," says Eddie Hegarty, partner of Norfolk Geese and vice chairman of British Goose Producers.

"Unfortunately the initial set-up costs for processing numbers as small as 20 geese are very high and this has stopped many producers from developing this market. Feedback from last year's Michaelmas has proved there is a market, but it will have to be developed to reach economic levels across the country."

Under the plan producers will place an order for a number of processed geese at certain weights; Norfolk Goose Breeders will rear these birds using a published rearing plan, then kill and pluck birds ready for collection or delivery mid September.

"This initiative is dependent on the response we get from our customers before the middle of April," says Martin Gulliver. "We need a collective volume of around 200 birds to make this viable."

Jeremy Blackburn, executive officer of the British Poultry Council, comments: "Goose producers have a special advantage over other seasonal poultry with the Michaelmas tradition. The goose sector as a whole continues to show slow and steady growth - much like the birds themselves."

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