The Buchanan family behind the Gressingham Duck® products have been carefully rearing this unique type of duck since 1989 when the first flock arrived at their farm in Suffolk. These first birds were a crossbreed between the Peking duck and the Wild Mallard that were first bred in Gressingham in Lancashire. Over the following two years, they perfected the breed to create the remarkable Gressingham Duck that we know today for its superior taste and quality of breast meat.
The health and welfare of the ducks is an absolute priority for Gressingham and they put this at the heart of all that they do by operating to Red Tractor standards.
Today, all ducks are bred, hatched, and reared on Red Tractor assured farms in East Anglia which means that they are regularly independently audited across a wide range of standards covering animal welfare, food safety, traceability and the environment.
Gressingham ducks are free-to-roam in barns with fresh air, bedding and continuous feed and fresh water throughout the day. They must have continuous access bathing water to allow them to bathe and preen. Staff at the farms must be suitably trained in how they handle and care for the ducks and they must keep daily temperature and maintenance records along with recording the quantity of water used.
These checks are part of a duck farmer’s daily routine and Gressingham Duck farmer Ian Rix says morning checks on his ducks are essential to make sure they are all in good health and that there is nothing wrong with any of the machinery, feed or water. You can read more about how Ian raises and cares for his ducks by reading his story here.
Geoff Buchanan, Managing Director of Gressingham Foods reported that the family-run company is “very proud” of their Red Tractor Certified status: “We have invested considerably in the welfare of our ducks and the Red Tractor accreditation endorses our commitment to quality food and farming and to the high standards we strive to achieve.”
When Gressingham first started selling their range, whole ducks were their most popular product. Today people are interested in different cuts and different ways of cooking as we are increasingly inspired by chefs and our experience of eating duck when dining out.
Gressingham have launched their ‘Bistro’ range in response to this which offers a selection of restaurant style duck-based meals including Duck Confit and Duck Duck à l’orange which can be cooked in the oven in 30 mins. All of these dishes are Red Tractor certified to ensure they are responsibly produced whilst maintaining the convenience of restaurant-style dining at home for more indulgent occasions.
You can find out where to buy these and other Red Tractor Certified Gressingham Duck products on their website.