Arnauld Delaby, export sales director with producer Pere Dodu, said: “The low consumption levels in the UK indicate a strong opportunity for turkey, why not from France?”
At a seminar to promote French turkey, he said lessons learned in the French market could be exported to the UK.
“UK market trends are growing towards more fresh cuts and portions with whole birds declining. It’s heading in the same direction as France.”
But the French market was far more advanced with innovation and development beginning almost 40 years ago, he added.
“Consumption has been pushed up through new products and innovation. Turkey needs to be more than just an alternative to chicken, it needs to be an alternative to other meats.”
He said innovative exports from France could help drive development with a knock-on benefit for UK producers. His company’s experience in category management would also be of use: “We can offer these services to supermarkets.”
Meanwhile, Gilles de Pottier, of CIDEF, the French turkey producers’ representative body, said it was working hard to promote French production standards to retailers.
He said the voluntary Contract of Progress quality assurance scheme guaranteed a high standard of production, from hygiene to animal welfare.
He also called for more European co-operation to fight cheap third country imports, and to harmonise standards.