Published 29 September 2013
Chairman of British Goose Producers, John Franklin is this month hosting its annual farm walk at his family’s farm in Bedfordshire and is aiming to make it the biggest occasion in the 30-year history of the organisation.
The farm walk at Thorncote Green near Sandy on Thursday October 16 will be open for the first time to affiliated members who have the opportunity to have their own exhibits, joining members from across the UK and Ireland who will see how the Franklin family has developed a flourishing farmgate business retailing not only geese but many other meats reared there.
“We’ve had requests from people who supply feed, equipment and other essentials for our members to become more closely involved in BGP and so we’ve introduced a new category of membership for them,” said John Franklin. “I know that some will be having their own stands and we’ve also invited other local farm shops and butchers to be involved in the event.
“The farm walk is always a popular occasion with our members, who get the opportunity to see how other producers go about rearing geese for Christmas. We’re also expecting two parties of college students and support from two local schools with farms that process poultry. So, with the new format this year promises to be the biggest event we’ve had so far.”
John Franklin has been rearing geese for Christmas for the past 27 years, starting with just 25 and now rearing over 600 for retail sale mainly at Christmas. A flock of 40 laying geese produce eggs for the increasing demand during spring and summer.
The business is run on the lines of a traditional family farm with a wide mix of enterprises including breeding ewes, cattle, pigs and the free range poultry — ducks, laying hens, chickens and turkeys as well as geese.
His sister, Blanche Walker, is also a BGP member and has been particularly involved in building up sales at local farmers’ markets.