Bernard Matthews

Bernard Matthews

Infobox_Company
company_name = Bernard Matthews Foods Ltd.
company_
company_type = Limited
company_slogan = "Bootiful!"
foundation = 1950
location = Norwich, Norfolk, England
key_people = Bernard Matthews, Founder
num_employees = >4450
industry = Farming, and Food Products
products = Food, Products
revenue = £358,923 (2007 Turnover)
operating_income = ?
net_income = ?
homepage = [http://www.bernardmatthews.com/ Official Site]

Bernard Matthews was founded by Bernard Trevor Matthews in 1950. Bernard Matthews is a British turkey farmer headquartered in Norwich in Norfolk, England, United Kingdom, with 56 farms throughout Norfolk, Suffolk and Lincolnshire. [cite web|url=http://www.bernardmatthews.com/CompanyHistory.asp|title=Company history|publisher=Bernard Matthews] All the company’s turkey eggs are hatched at their own hatchery at Great Witchingham, Norfolk and have been for over 55 years. The company breeds and rears both indoor and free range turkeys on its farms, making Bernard Matthews an integrated agricultural business. The Company is also the largest free range turkey farmer in the UK.

The company offers a range of cooked, fresh and frozen British turkey, including products such as oven ready whole birds, joints, formed portions, cooked meats and meal accompaniments, which accounts for over 90% of the business. Bernard Matthews also produces chicken and ham products which currently use imported meat. The company has committed to reviewing the sourcing of its ham and chicken products with a target of the end of 2010 for all of them to use 100% British meat.cite web|url=http://www.bernardmatthewsfarms.com/ourbusiness|title=Our Business

The Business

Bernard Matthews farms 7 million turkeys every year in the UK, fed on a cereal-based diet from the Company's own feed mills in Norfolk, containing wheat sourced in East Anglia. They claim not to use any hormones or growth promoters nor battery farm turkeys - although most of its turkeys are intensively-farmed, indoor-reared birds. [cite web|url=http://www.bernardmatthewsfarms.com/ourbusiness|title=Our Business]

In July 2008 Bernard Matthews unveiled details of its business recovery plan and brand relaunch. This plan aims to reposition the company for growth and has three key elements: refocusing back on British Turkey farming and production, making products that better meet the needs of consumers today, and championing British Agriculture.

In 2007, Bernard Matthews recorded a 9.5 per cent drop in sales for continuing operations to £326 million as a result of the outbreak of the H5N1 strain of Avian Influenza. This outbreak resulted in widespread publicising of the intensive-farming conditions under which most of the company's turkeys are reared. The company expects to return to profitable growth during 2008 following a new marketing and advertising campaign from the Autumn.

New Product Launches

Big Green Tick

Bernard Matthews Farms launched a ‘better for you’ range of frozen turkey products under the sub-brand ‘Big Green Tick’ in August 2008. These products are made from 100% British turkey breast meat and are claimed to be 70% lower in saturated fat than other similar products on the market.

Big Green Tick was the first range to appear under the new ‘Bernard Matthews Farms’ branding and all the products in this range will carry the bold Big Green Tick logo along with key selling messages such as ‘Made from 100% breast meat’ and ‘No artificial colours, flavours or preservatives’. [cite web|url=http://www.turkeyfortoday.com/bgt/biggreentick.asp|title=Big Green Tick]

Golden Norfolk Turkey Cooked Meats Range

Bernard Mathews Farms re-launched its entire cooked meats range in September 2008, featuring a new brand identity and a simplified portfolio of cooked meats, which still includes popular products such as Wafer Thin Turkey Ham.

This refreshed portfolio includes a new “Golden Norfolk Turkey” range, which leverages the British provenance, quality and taste credentials of a popular product that has been a centerpiece of many Christmas dinners for over 30 years. This range made with 100% breast meat, offers formed slices, carvery cuts and thick cut fillets and a free-range tier. Products include Golden Norfolk Turkey Breast Slices, Golden Norfolk Turkey Honey Roast Turkey Breast Slices and Golden Norfolk Turkey Free Range Carvery Cut Butter Basted Slices of Turkey. [cite web|url=http://www.turkeyfortoday.com/features/products/index.asp|title=Products]

Bernard Matthews Supporting the Local Community

Bernard Matthew is the largest poultry farmer and food company in East Anglia, with 56 turkey farms and two production sites located in Norfolk and Suffolk.

Bernard Matthew claims to have an on-going commitment to ensure that all farming and production processes have the minimum impact on the local community and their environment and strive to make a positive difference to the lives of the local people. It also claims to recognise the responsibility the Company has in supporting local agriculture. As such, Bernard Matthews supports all initiatives, which develop and enhance the industry it operates within. [cite web|url=http://www.bernardmatthewsfarms.com/community|title=Local Community]

Key Dates

* 1950 - Company founded
* 1955 - Its headquarters were moved to its present location, Great Witchingham Hall near Norwich. [cite web|url=http://www.bernardmatthews.com/CompanyHistory50.asp|title=Company history: The 50s|publisher=Bernard Matthews]
* 1960 - Bernard Matthews entered the Guinness Book of Records as the biggest turkey farmer in Europe.cite web|url=http://www.bernardmatthews.com/CompanyHistory60.asp|title=Company history: The 60s|publisher=Bernard Matthews]
* 1971 - The Company was publicly listed. [cite web|url=http://www.bernardmatthews.com/CompanyHistory70.asp|title=Company history: The 70s|publisher=Bernard Matthews]
* 1980 - The Company launched its first TV commercial featuring Turkey Breast Roast, with Matthews himself introducing the famous 'Bootiful' catchphrase in his thick Norfolk accent. [cite web|url=http://www.bernardmatthews.com/CompanyHistory80.asp|title=Company history: The 80s|publisher=Bernard Matthews]
* 2000 - Bernard Matthews successfully fought off a take-over bid from US food giant Sara Lee. [cite web|url=http://www.foodnavigator.com/news/ng.asp?id=39728-sara-lee-pulls|title=Sara Lee pulls out of Bernard Matthews bidding]
* 2001 - The Company was bought back by the Matthews family and taken private again. [cite web|url=http://www.bernardmatthews.com/CompanyHistory00.asp|title=Company history: The 00s|publisher=Bernard Matthews]
*2007 - The Company's farm in Holton suffers an outbreak of the H5N1 strain of avian influenza.
*2008 - The Company unveiled details of its business recovery plan and relaunch. This included a new Company logo and all turkeys being 100% British.

Controversies

Turkey Twizzlers

One of Bernard Matthews' formed-meat products, 'Turkey Twizzlers', became a subject of controversy in January 2005, when they were singled out for particular criticism by the chef Jamie Oliver in his television series Jamie's School Dinners. The product became an emblem of the mass-produced processed food that Oliver wanted to remove from schools. In the wake of the programme, several major catering organisations announced that they would no longer serve Turkey Twizzlers in schools.cite news | url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/education/4375399.stm | title=Turkey Twizzler sales biting back | date=2005-03-23 | publisher=BBC News Online] Bernard Matthews discontinued the product in 2005 and has no plans in the future to return to it.

Animal Welfare

On September 7, 2006, two employees of a contractor working for Bernard Matthews were convicted of animal cruelty after being covertly filmed by a member of staff from Hillside Animal Sanctuary, playing 'baseball' with live turkeys. Bernard Matthews fully supported the RSPCA's decision to prosecute two people employed by a sub-contractor following the incident of bird cruelty in April.cite web|url=http://www.bernardmatthewsfarms.com/ourbusiness|title=Our Business

Bernard Matthews is Quality British Turkey and Farm Assured (Red Tractor) accreditated . The Company also ensures the all their turkeys are reared in line with the Farm Animal Welfare Councils (FAWC) Five Freedoms and all Bernard Matthews farms are open to unannounced inspections from Defra, independent welfare organisations and representatives of the major UK supermarket retailers.cite web|url=http://www.bernardmatthewsfarms.com/ourbusiness|title=Our Business

Avian flu outbreak

On Tuesday 30 January 2007 the first ever case of industrial Avian Flu occurred at Bernard Matthews’ Holton site in Suffolk. The infection was caused by the H5N1 subtype of the Influenza A virus.

Operationally, Bernard Matthews was well prepared for a crisis such as AI. The company had an emergency operational committee in place, had rehearsed such a crisis independently and jointly with the Home Office.

Bernard Matthews and DEFRA considered a number of options in terms of culling the entire 160,000 turkey flock at Holton Farm. For reasons of speed, efficiency, and the prompt management of the crisis, Bernard Matthews proposed for culling the flock via use of its factory based controlled atmosphere stunning unit was accepted. This reduced the timescale of the entire culling from DEFRA’s projected 5-15 days to an achieved 47 hours.

Despite rigorous inspection the source of the infection remains unknown. Bernard Matthews stopped importing turkey meat from Hungary in February 2007. [cite web|url=http://www.bernardmatthewsfarms.com/ourbusiness|title=Our Business]

It is claimed that all Bernard Matthews farms are fully bio-secure at all times. [cite web|url=http://www.bernardmatthewsfarms.com/ourbusiness|title=Our Business]

References

External links

* [http://www.bernardmatthews.co.uk/ Bernard Matthews]


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