Buy a happy turkey this Christmas from Morton’s Traditional Taste

  • Author Usman Shaw
  • Published February 2, 2012
  • Word count 567

Buy a happy turkey this Christmas from Morton’s Traditional Taste

A Norfolk turkey farmer will be selling his ethically reared birds across Britain this Christmas as part of his online selling venture.

Rob Morton, of Morton’s Traditional Taste, started selling free range Christmas turkeys via his website last year. His first year of online trading saw 60 birds leave his Skeyton base in specially made boxes complete with ice packs, for destinations right across Britain.

But sales have really taken off this year with more than 250 birds already promised to online shoppers with a short time still to go until Christmas.

But what makes a Morton’s turkey different to the one from your local supermarket? Only the best quality chicks make it to Morton’s, after being given a growing period 9 weeks longer than an intensively reared turkey. They are fed on a cereal diet containing no growth promoters or additives, and housed in sheds on clean straw with 24 hour access to range in large paddocks. Morton’s only rear a small number of birds each year, allowing for a closer attention to detail and more space for the birds to roam. The meat is also allowed to mature for a minimum of 10 days in their cold stores for a true “traditional taste”. Morton’s understands that by looking after the welfare of their Turkeys they provide the best way for you to enjoy your meat this Christmas; with a delicious flavour and a clear conscience.

Rob Morton, of Morton’s Traditional Taste believes that the success of his online enterprise comes from people’s increasing interest in sourcing high-quality high welfare turkey for their Christmas dinner. Rob said:

“People want to know how their food is produced. We have a lot of information on our website with pictures of how the turkeys live so they can see that they have a happy healthy life.”

Sales have also no doubt been boosted this year since judges in the Great Taste Awards – the ‘Oscars’ of the food world – awarded his Bronze turkey Two Stars in this year’s awards.

Rob and his wife Becca rear 1000 free-range Bronze and Norfolk Black turkeys and free-range chickens. Rearing different breeds means that Morton’s can offer their customers a range of sizes from 4.5kg up to 11.5kg. The Bronze are the bigger birds with the male turkeys, stags, reaching 11.5kg. Choice of breed is a matter of taste, says Rob:

“The Bronze has a fuller, rounded breast, while the Norfolk Black has a longer narrower breast and a more gamey flavour.”

While the Bronze is the most popular choice, the Norfolk Black has a strong following amongst those who appreciate its fuller flavour and who like to support the traditional breed. Turkey chicks – called poults – are bought in as day-olds from a farm in Essex in June and spend the following months enjoying the outdoor life on Rob’s family farm in Skeyton. They are eventually prepared on the farm, thus avoiding the stress of travelling.

The Morton family started rearing turkeys around 20 years ago. “It started with rearing just a few in the garden for family and friends and has gone from there,” explains Rob.

Local customers pick their turkeys up from the farm gates and online customers of Morton’s will have their turkeys dispatched by overnight courier on the 21st of December.