Comment: Driving Christmas turkey sales through social media

By Gary Ford, chief poultry advisor of the NFU

If there’s one thing we all know in this industry, it’s that December means turkey. And that was certainly the case for the NFU once again this year.

At the beginning of December, we ran our successful #BuyMyTurkey day which encouraged farmers to take to social media and showcase the best of British turkey at Christmas.

I’m pleased to say that it was a massive success and farmers across the country played a central role in elevating the voice of the industry at such a critical time.

As a sector, we have so much to shout about and at Christmas there is nothing better to showcase than turkey. We wanted to make it clear why families should make turkey the centrepiece of their Christmas dinner.

I think we did a pretty good job – the hashtag #BuyMyTurkey peaked at 3.3million impressions on Twitter. But what I really enjoyed was seeing the posts from farmers getting stuck in and promoting their product.

From why buying local is good for the environment in reducing food miles to giving the public information about what their turkeys eat on the range – I think we covered it all.

We even saw one farmer in the studio of BBC Wiltshire talking about why the public should buy local, British turkeys at Christmas. And they even got the presenter to wear a turkey hat no less.

I was pleased to see that the campaign had a real, tangible impact too – a tweet from one business, thanking the public for supporting British farmers and buying turkey locally, so much so that they had sold out. That’s exactly the kind of result we all want to see.

But what often goes unseen is some of the hard work that is put into setting up for the day. I may be waxing lyrical about the success but it wouldn’t have been possible without Aimee Mahony and Ruby Powell from the NFU who travelled up and down the country to make the day possible.

It looks like it paid off.

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