15th June 2006, DEVON: British supermarket chain Sainsbury's reached an agreement with Devon poultry processor Lloyd Maunder to increase supplies of organic poultry. The deal follows the Devon County Show, where awards marking 10 years of production of free-range poultry were presented to farmers.
Sales of the poultry started at Sainsbury five years ago, but the growth in sales of organic chicken has been so strong that supplies cannot keep up with demand. To encourage more farmers to commit to organic poultry production, Sainsbury's has said it will buy 25 percent more production each year for the next two years. In turn, Lloyd Maunder has agreed to make every effort to produce at least that increase in volume, dedicated to Sainsbury's stores, reports MeatNews.
"We are seeing some amazing rates of growth," said Lloyd Maunder director Andrew Maunder. "And managing these rates of expansion takes organization and long-term commitment by everyone involved. And it's not just Sainsbury's we are supplying--other supermarkets are pressing us for supplies too."
Andrew Maunder added: "The marketing of organic poultry is moving on from a niche to a mainstream operation, which is very encouraging. It means that organic farmers can develop their poultry operations with confidence, taking their chicks and feed from our hatchery and feed mill in the West Country and using us as a secure and profitable route to market for their product. If they can also supply us with organic grains from their farms for the feed mill, that would be even better, reducing food-miles and making the chickens in every way a West Country product."