This family-owned business started life in 1951 as a general farm with a sideline in rearing turkeys. By 1973, turkeys had become the core business and the Derbyshire company now rears and prepares more than 5m birds each year from 52 farms for the likes of Tesco and Asda.
About 30% of its sales are made in the run-up to Christmas. However, the company benefited from the twin crises of BSE and foot-and-mouth disease, which shifted consumer tastes even more towards white meat, and it now supplies turkey joints throughout the year. Profits were up 81% a year from £592,000 in 1998 to £3.5m in 2001, when Brandons employed 448 people. Last year it bought the turkey division of Sun Valley, the giant poultry producer, in a move that trebled Brandons’ capacity.
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