Demand up for Calif. organic, free-range turkeys
SACRAMENTO — While a majority of holiday turkeys consumed in California are from elsewhere, demand for organic and free-range birds produced in the state is up, a group here reports.
For instance, one Sonoma County producer of free-range and organic Willie Bird turkeys says he has raised his prices by 40 cents a pound in the last two years but sales have not let up, the California Farm Bureau Federation reports.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture predicted that growers nationwide would produce 242 million turkeys this year, with 13 million coming from California. That would be a decrease from 253.5 million U.S. turkeys and 15.5 million California turkeys produced in 2012, according to the agency.
Since California turkey farmers supply only about 40 percent of the state's market, industry insiders encouraged consumers to make orders early for fresh, California-grown birds, according to the state Farm Bureau.