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Organic turkey shortage

British shoppers were warned yesterday that there could be a shortage of organic turkeys at supermarkets this Christmas. The recent bird flu outbreak in East Anglia, which resulted in tens of thousands of premium birds being culled, is posing major problems for suppliers and retailers with less than three weeks to go. Industry experts predict that customers may find it harder to buy a fresh turkey, which will push up prices.

The extent of the looming problem was underlined by a major quality supermarket chain, Waitrose, which said yesterday that it would have no organic turkeys to sell this Christmas. The store had planned to source its entire stock of 18,000 birds from two UK farms on the border of Norfolk and Suffolk. However, they were all slaughtered when the premises became infected with avian flu.

In the past year, the UK organic turkey market has increased by almost 50 per cent as British shoppers spend more for top-quality, traceable produce.

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