Where to buy the best sustainable and ethical turkeys this Christmas

When it comes to Christmas dinner, the centrepiece is undeniably still the turkey. In the UK, we buy around 10 million turkeys, each year.

We spend hours discussing cooking techniques, stuffing options, and brining methods. But, we often overlook how the turkey has been reared – a fundamental aspect that can make or break the dining experience. So, where to buy the best turkey this Christmas?

The secret to the best-tasting turkey

At Live Frankly, we’re staunch advocates for organic, truly free-range birds.

Not all turkeys are created equal; their taste varies significantly due to the vast differences in farming practices. The secret to the best-tasting turkey lies in its slow growth over approximately six months and a crucial hanging period before purchase. This approach is championed by farmers and butchers dedicated to doing things the slow way, like those listed below.

Unfortunately, the majority of the UK’s 10 million turkeys are intensively farmed – accounting for a staggering 90% of the total. These birds are typically raised indoors, injected with antibiotics, and fed genetically modified grains with pesticides, leading to rapid, unnatural growth. They are bred to be so heavy that they can’t fly or mate naturally. Beak trimming is also commonplace to stop them from pecking each other in such close confinement.

Even the supermarket version of “free-range” often falls short, with birds raised and housed in a way that means most will never venture outside.

You can taste the difference with these turkeys. These turkeys offer a tender yet excessively watery meat that can turn dry and tasteless when cooked.

To savour the true essence of turkey, opt for organic or genuinely free-range slower-growing breeds like Norfolk Black, Bronze, or Bourbon Red.

These birds are encouraged to forage for natural foods, develop muscle, and mature fully. Hanging for about 10 days further enhances tenderness and flavour by allowing muscle fibres to break down, and excess water to evaporate.

What size turkey do you need to feed up to 15 people?

4kg – 5kg: Serves min. 5
5kg – 6kg: Serves min. 6
6kg – 7kg: Serves min. 7
7kg – 8kg: Serves min. 8
8kg – 9kg: Serves min. 9
9kg – 10kg: Serves min. 10
10kg – 11kg: Serves min. 11
11kg – 12kg: Serves min. 12
12kg – 13kg: Serves min. 14
Source: Piper’s Farm

Where to buy the best-tasting turkey

What’s more, you can order these turkeys to be delivered from the farm to your door.

So, for the best-tasting turkey this Christmas, look no further than farms committed to these traditional, humane, and flavour-enhancing methods that bring the goodness of the farm to your kitchen and Christmas table…

Farms that deliver the best-tasting turkey to your door:

Where to buy the best turkey this Christmas at a glance:

1. Pipers Farm

Pipers Farm Christmas turkey

Key Specifications:

  • Weights: 4kg – 10kg+
  • Min. people serves: 5 – 12
  • Organic or Free-Range: Free-range
  • Whole bird and Crowns: Yes
  • Other meats and trimmings: Yes
  • Delivered Chilled or Frozen: Frozen
  • Delivery Dates: From Tuesday 21 November – Friday 22 December.

Piper’s Farm Free-Range Turkey

Small-scale family farmers in Devon and Somerset rear Pipers Farm turkeys. The turkeys enjoy a natural diet and roaming around their grassy hillside home until they are 28 weeks old.

Each bird is dry-plucked by hand, then hung for at least 12 days.

A whole turkey that serves 5-6 people costs £96. Pipers Farm are also renowned for their “simplest turkey”. They roll the leg and breast meat separately and stuff it with a choice of festive stuffing. It cooks in just one hour, prices start from £42.60, serving four.

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2. Fosse Meadows

Fosse Meadows free range turkey for Christmas

Key Specifications:

  • Weights: 3kg – 12.5kg
  • Min. people serves: 5 – 22+
  • Organic or Free-Range: Free-range
  • Whole bird and Crowns: Yes
  • Delivered Chilled or Frozen: Chilled
  • Other meats and trimmings: Yes
  • Delivery Dates: Thanksgiving – Tues 21, Wed 22, Thurs 23 & Fri 24 November; Christmas – Wed 20, Thurs 21 & Fri 22 December; New Year – Fri 29 December

Fosse Meadows Free-Range Turkey

Fosse Meadows is a fourth-generation farm selling free-range turkeys that are slow-grown to maturity for 6 months. They keep their turkeys in small flocks to promote natural behaviour and feed them an additive-free cereal diet, so the turkeys have good fat marbling through the meat. 

You can buy their free-range Bronze whole turkey directly from Fosse Meadows from £75 (serves 4-5), along with other Christmas dinner essentials.

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3. field&flower

field&flower free range Bronze Christmas Turkey

Key Specifications:

  • Weights: 4kg – 8kg
  • Min. people serves: 7 – 13
  • Organic or Free-Range: Free-range
  • Whole bird and Crowns: Yes
  • Other meats and trimmings: Yes
  • Delivered Chilled or Frozen: Chilled
  • Christmas Delivery Dates: Tuesday 19th- Sunday 24th December

field&flower Free-Range Turkey

Field&flower source their turkeys from a small, family-run turkey farm in Devon called Frenchbeer farm. The turkeys are slow-grown for 6 months and can roam freely from around 5 weeks. 

They are dry-plucked and game hung for up to two weeks to enrich flavour and tenderise the meat, as well as guaranteeing a perfectly crisp skin.

A 4-5kg whole Free Range Bronze Turkey serving 7-8 people starts at £94.98.

This Christmas, field&flower are partnering with FareShare South West to support food poverty in the South West of England. For every turkey crown they sell, they’ll donate one pair of turkey legs enough to serve 2-3 people – to help make sure that everyone can enjoy a Christmas dinner this year.

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4. Helen Browning’s Organic

Helen browning's Organic whole Bronze turkey for Christmas

Key Specifications:

  • Weights: 4.5kg – 12kg+
  • Min. people serves: 8 – 22
  • Organic or Free-Range: Organic
  • Whole bird and Crowns: Yes
  • Other meats and trimmings: Yes
  • Delivered Chilled or Frozen: Chilled
  • Christmas Delivery Dates: Wednesday -Thursday, 20-21st December

Helen Browning’s Organic Turkey

Helen Browning prides themselves on both rearing and sourcing the best organic meat produce, including award-winning Organic Bronze Turkeys from Walters Farm. 

Walters rears its turkeys on the Berkshire Downs. These birds roam outside during the day, are fed high-quality organic cereals, and return to spacious straw-bedded barns at night.

They dry pluck the turkeys and hand finish them on the farm. They hang the turkeys for at least 7 days.

Whole birds are available from £105.93.

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5. Eversfield Organic

Eversfield Organic Norfolk Turkey

Key Specifications:

  • Weights: 3.5kg-9.5kg
  • Min. people serves: 4 – 10
  • Organic or Free-Range: Organic
  • Whole bird and Crowns: Yes
  • Other meats and trimmings: Yes
  • Delivered Chilled or Frozen: Chilled
  • Delivery Dates: Tuesday 21 – Thursday 23 November and Tuesday 19 – Saturday 23 December

Eversfield Organic Turkey

Eversfield Organic‘s heritage Norfolk Black turkeys are slow-grown and carefully reared on the Malseed family farm on lush Dartmoor pasture. They are fed on a healthy diet consisting of organic cereals and natural ingredients – no additives or growth promoters.

These organic turkeys are clever birds and need a lot of entertainment so are kept busy with toys to play with, as well as lots of pasture to stretch their legs and enjoy the fresh Devonshire air.

Completely free range, these Norfolk Blacks enjoy stretching their legs and foraging in the fresh Devonshire air.

They are hung for two weeks to develop a slightly more game-like taste and texture. 

Whole birds start from £105 (serves 8).

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Christmas guides:

Pipers Farm Christmas turkey

Supermarket vs organic turkey

Christmas Cracker ideas

Glenarm Organic Salmon fillet

The Best Sustainable Salmon

Main image: Coombe Farm Organic

About the author

Lizzie Rivera

Lizzie Rivera

Lizzie Rivera is the founder and chief purpose officer at Live Frankly. She has been writing for mainstream publications for 10 years, specialising in sustainability and ethics since 2014.

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