HOT TEMPERATURES that suppressed hatching egg numbers in French turkey breeding flocks are now translating to fewer birds for the seasonal market.

Supplies of hatching eggs were put at about 10% down because of the heat in France this summer, from where about 25% of the hatching eggs in the UK are sourced.

Speaking to the Caterer magazine, foodservice butcher Fairfax Meadows said: “The turkey market is on fire now with a shortage of birds in the system. Currently, prices are ahead of Christmas 2018 and are not expected to ease. Now, it is anyone’s guess as to what Christmas prices will be.”

Christopher Johnson, food category manager at Beacon, added: “Insight from our suppliers suggests that we may well see a shortage of turkeys this Christmas as the result of higher temperatures across Europe.

“While large retailers will have their turkey quota already assured, we may see independent retailers and hospitality businesses being hit hardest by lowered stock levels and increased prices. These price increases are also likely to be felt by consumers this festive season.”