Britain's third largest turkey producer is to close days before Christmas.

Norfolk-based supplier Cherryridge said it would fulfil Christmas orders and keep growing some birds. But it will close its processing plant with the loss of 65 employees because of low prices.

"Christmas is our best time, but the problem is generating a volume of turkey through the factory at a suitable price during the rest of the year," said Neil Roper, operations director.

The price of dark meat has fallen 40% and Eastern Europe was able to supply white meat more cheaply, he added. Cherryridge supplies major retailers with a million own label birds a year. In the run up to Christmas it will kill 18,000 birds a day.

But the company now sees its future in premium turkey growing. A third of its production is in organic and free-range birds, which it hopes to supply to Bernard Matthews.