Farmison Christmas Turkey Dinner

Farmison CEO John Pallagi said turkey sales have been flying since the business launched its Christmas range on 1 September

Farmison has guaranteed Christmas turkey availability as the premium online butcher kicked off a £2m crowdfunding campaign.

The DTC business, which focuses on British heritage and rare breeds, has asked its turkey producers to slaughter seven to eight days earlier than planned to safeguard the Christmas supply.

“Because we control the supply chain and work closely with farmers and producers, it allows us to be able to guarantee our fresh British turkey supply for customers this Christmas,” CEO John Pallagi told The Grocer.

“It is testament to what we have built over the past 11 years, and it is the way consumer food retailing in the UK should be.”

Earlier this month, the British Poultry Council said as much as 35% of this year’s festive free-range flock has already been lost to the avian flu outbreak, while this week, upmarket London-based butcher Ginger Pig informed customers it was “looking to a Christmas with alternatives for turkey, duck, goose and 100-day chickens” after its Lincolnshire supplier lost its entire flock.

Pallagi added Farmison’s turkey sales have been flying since the business launched its Christmas range on 1 September, with overall trading 46% higher than the 2020 festive period when the country was in lockdown and 30% up on last year.

“What is really encouraging is the number of new customers coming to us, with year-on-year rises,” he said.

It comes as Farmison launched a £2m crowdfunding round on the Seedrs platform.

The campaign is almost 80% invested as The Grocer went to press on Thursday, with £1.6m raised from 389 investors.

The round is also backed by Farmison’s private equity owner Inverleith, which took a majority stake in the business in March this year.

Farmison plans to use the money to attract new customers, work towards a B Corp certification and invest in product innovation.

Pallagi founded the Yorkshire-based retailer with business partner Lee Simmonds in 2011 with a mission to encourage UK consumers to ‘eat better meat’.

Its growth was supercharged as the country went into lockdown in 2020 as demand for online food shopping exploded.

Revenues hit £12m in 2021, doubling year on year, with cumulative sales now standing at more than £40m. The business also supplies the likes of Harrods, Fortnum & Mason and Selfridges, as well as Michelin star restaurants.