BY SEÁN P. FEENY
A DONEGAL turkey breeder has said the traditional Irish Christmas is back as sales are up and customers going for top quality local product.
Matthew Pearson of Pearson Foods in Craigadoes, St Johnston, said turkey sales have been very good this festive season with an increase in early orders.
He said: “We have found this Christmas that we are very far ahead in our orders and are close to selling out, although we do tend to keep 50 to 60 turkeys to sell in the final days.”
Three years ago the Irish market was flooded with imported turkeys, making it tough for local breeders to compete with prices.
But this season it appears local customers have gone back to buying from the local butchers and breeders, knowing that they will get top quality for a good price.
Mr Pearson said: “People want to go back to that traditional Irish-style Christmas and so we have seen orders from local butchers slightly up, as well, and we still have a full weekend to go so they may be more orders for turkeys to come.
“Some years ago the market was flooded with imported turkeys; you will find it hard to change the minds of people who buy those from multiples.
“It’s the customers that have always bought from their local butcher and breeder, you want to keep or encourage to come back as it’s them who look for top quality products.
“Even the hotels are slowly coming back to buying locally. While it’s never going to be as good as ten years ago, we’re definitely seeing a slight increase in that market, too.”
Pearson Foods will have sold over 3000 small and large turkeys for Christmas, but they will still have some in stock if you are passing Craigadoes before the holidays.
A native of Gweedore, Mgr Gillespie works for the Congregation for the Clergy in Rome while he is also...