Gressingham - Who's Involved | What We Do | Red Tractor

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Added 21 Dec 2015
From our Red Tractor assured farms here in beautiful East Anglia we rear the remarkable Gressingham Duck®, a unique breed renowned for its superior taste and high percentage of breast meat.
"I've always wanted to farm ever since I was a child,” says Ian Rix, a Red Tractor duck farmer from Suffolk. “My parents were farmers and that got me interested in it. I love ducks, to me they’re like pets just on a large scale and I enjoy looking after them.” Being Red Tractor assured, Ian follows strict procedures to ensure that his ducks are kept in great condition. Arriving at the farm from the hatchery at one-day-old, the ducks are housed in four sheds, each with 12,000 in them.

The ducks are free-to-roam in airy barns with plenty of natural light, fresh air, bedding and continuous feed and fresh water throughout the day. The ducks have continuous access to water feeders and open water troughs that allow them to drink, bathe and preen. “In the morning we do a walk around and carry out a visual check of all the ducks to make sure they are all in good health and that there is nothing wrong with any of the machinery, feed or water. Temperatures have to be recorded daily, along with maintenance records and quantity of water used.”

Ian operates a straw-based system with his animals bedded up with straw once a day to keep them comfortable, clean and their feathers in good condition. “When we have a Red Tractor assessor, they like to see a clean and tidy site and well looked after animals. We demonstrate good welfare standards like proper ventilation, good straw, good care, regular daily checks, attention to water, food, and anything that makes a duck comfortable and happy.”

When Ian started farming, people would buy whole ducks. But now, he says, people want different cuts - a trend that he thinks is partly to do with chefs inspiring consumers with creative recipes showing alternative ways to cook the meat. “Shoppers are patriotic and like supporting British farmers,” Ian said. “When you see Red Tractor on a product you know that it is well produced in the UK and to a good standard.” You can support Red Tractor farmers like Ian by looking for the logo on food packaging when you go shopping.

Geoff Buchanan, Managing Director of Gressingham Foods said: “We are very proud that our Gressingham Duck has been awarded Red Tractor Assurance. “We have invested considerably in the welfare of our ducks and this accreditation endorses our commitment to quality food and farming and to the high standards we strive to achieve.”

For more information on Gressingham visit:
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