Posted 23rd Nov 2015
As the festive season draws nearer we find out more about the centrepiece of the Christmas Day dinner table, the succulent turkey, thanks to Copas Traditional Turkeys who have been producing delicious British birds since 1957
Born into a farming family, it was no surprise Tom Copas Senior fell into farming himself, though it was to be farming of a very different nature. In 1957, a young Tom found himself in need of a project when his father gifted 153 turkeys to him. A hobby soon turned into a small business which later became Copas Traditional Turkeys, producing over 38,000 special Christmas turkeys each year.
On their farm in the rolling hills of Cookham, a wide range of poultry products are produced alongside their Copas Traditional Turkeys and a variety of accompaniments that encompass traditional Christmas flavours, developed specially by Tom's wife Brenda.
The thriving business is today run by Tom's children, Sarah and her younger brother Tom, who spent many school holidays on the farm growing up, helping in the plucking room, herding turkeys and becoming true artisanal champions, holding the same values that Tom Senior embraced when he met his first flock.
Today the Copas family have 25 traditional breeds of turkey reared on three farms, where the birds are given plenty of room to roam across beautiful meadows, later going through age-old production processes including hand plucking and game hanging, to enhance and preserve the birds' flavour, naturally. The welfare of the turkeys is of upmost importance, with the birds enjoying an oat-rich, nutritionally balanced, natural cereal diet, and free range of the farm during the day, strolling between cherry orchards and grass meadows as soon as they are old enough, going on to lead long, happy lives.
The whole family comes together at Christmas time, along with the wider team, to set up a Christmas market on the farm for collection day, that even the young grandchildren get involved in – if they can lift the turkeys! The generous family business also strives to donate as many of their turkeys as possible to causes that deserve a little extra Christmas cheer, this year geared towards hospices across the UK, aiming to provide patients and staff with a turkey for their Christmas Day meal.
To purchase a Copas Traditional Turkey for yourself and have it delivered directly to your door, or to collect it from the Cookham Farm or Harvey Nichols, visit www.copasturkeys.co.uk. Prices start from £78 for a 4kg whole turkey.