UK processor to open plant in Virginia

by Erica Shaffer
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ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Va. – Kelly Turkeys USA, LLC, a unit of Kelly Turkeys UK, announced plans to open a poultry production and processing plant in Albemarle County. The company specializes in high-end, heritage turkeys products through direct mail and retail.

Kelly Turkeys will spend $1.4 million in a new facility, which the company expects will process 10,000 turkeys annually over three years. The project is a partnership of the Commonwealth, Albemarle County and Kelly Turkeys USA through the Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development Fund (AFID). The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services partnered with Albemarle County to secure the project Virginia. Gov. Terry McAuliffe approved a $29,000 grant from the AFID Fund to assist with the project and Albemarle County will provide a $29,000 cash match.

“The demand for artisanal foods is growing quickly, and companies like Kelly Turkeys are meeting that demand right here in Virginia,” Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry Todd Haymore said in a statement. “Virginia has long been known for its quality agricultural products, and we are excited to further cement our reputation as an artisanal food producer. As we work to build the new Virginia economy, I’m pleased the Governor’s AFID Fund could support this project and Albemarle’s commitment to it.”

Kelly Turkeys UK is known for the KellyBronze turkey, the company's premium holiday bird. The company produces an organic KellyBronze which are raised without drugs, additives or growth promoters.

In 2006, Kelly Turkeys UK acquired a farm in Virginia to process KellyBronze turkeys for the Thanksgiving holiday in the United States. Kelly Turkeys USA prepares turkeys the same way KellyBronze turkeys are produced in the United Kingdom.

“The artisan quality of the KellyBronze Turkey fits in perfectly with the local food movement that is so strong in this area,” said Judd Culver, owner of Kelly Turkeys USA. “The positive feedback we have earned from our customers for our Thanksgiving and Christmas KellyBronze Turkeys has been remarkable.”
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