A steady increase in the popularity of a goose for the Christmas table could leave some consumers disappointed, a leading Norfolk producer has warned.

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Although geese loved the wet conditions in what was the wettest summer for a century, there may not be the last-minute bargains this year.

“There’s been a small increase in the number of geese coming on to the market in recent years - but it’s not a bird you can mass produce,” said Eddie Hegarty, chairman of British Goose Producers.

“Geese are truly seasonal poultry reared in small flocks through the summer and autumn. Our largest members rear only a few thousand a year, so it’s small scale by modern poultry standards. But the good news is that the wet year has ensured plenty of lush grazing - geese love the wet - which will help add to the quality and perhaps counter some of the large cost increases in cost of feed and grain this autumn.”

Consumers were much more interested in how food was produced, said Mr Hegarty, of Pulham Market.

“There can be no more naturally reared meat than goose. They spend their life grazing on pasture often in quite idyllic countryside, with the shelter of the farmyard at night to protect against marauding foxes.”

The revival of traditional food also favours the goose which held pride of place at Christmas for centuries as recognised by Charles Dickens with the Cratchit family in A Christmas Carol and Sherlock Holmes with ‘goose clubs’ in The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle.

Details - www.goose.cc

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