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UK turkey producer B. Matthews to step down

Bernard Matthews, Chairman of the UK turkey producer, will step down as Chairman of the company he founded in 1950 amid a second year of group losses, Times Online reports.

Bernard Matthews is reportedly stepping down as Chairman of the board after his 80th birthday in January. He will, however, stay on as Chairman of a new supervisory board, which represents the interests of the company's shareholders — almost all of whom are the Matthews family, reports continue.

The company, which said yesterday that it made a loss before tax of £4.4 mln in 2008, down from a £77.2 mln loss in 2007, has suffered as British consumers have lost their appetite for turkey, which appartently came after an outbreak of the deadly H5N1 avian flu strain on Bernard Matthews’ Norfolk premises.

The company, together with other leading producers, is now hoping to launch a new marketing offensive to promote turkey as a healthy, low-cholesterol meat and to tap into the fads of the nation for lean, trim meat. It has enlisted Sharron Davies, the Olympic medal-winning swimmer, to help promote turkey. It is also hoping to capitalise on the increased value-consciousness of shoppers by launching packets of Golden Drummers, its breaded turkey, for £1 next year.

Source: Times Online

Natalie Berkhout

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