His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales has visited Bessvale Farm near Lisburn and met one of the farming families who supply organic chicken that is included in ‘Duchy Originals from Waitrose’ brand.
Duchy Originals from Waitrose’ embodies The Prince of Wales’s commitment to what he calls a ‘virtuous circle’ of providing natural, high-quality organic and premium products, while helping to protect and sustain the countryside and wildlife which in turn helps generate profits for charity rather than for commercial gain.
His Royal Highness was greeted to Bessvale Farm just a few miles from Lisburn by Mrs Joan Christie OBE, Lord-Lieutenant of County Antrim and went on to meet Mr John Tuft, farm owner, and members of his family, Mrs Heather Jenkins, Director Waitrose, Mr Nigel Dunlop, Chief Executive, Moy Park Limited, Mr Joe Lawson, Agricultural Technician Manager, Moy Park and Mr Graham Cassie, ‘Duchy Originals from Waitrose’ Brand Manager.
His Royal Highness accepted an invitation from Mr Tuft to join him and some of his family members, along with other invited guests, for a round-table discussion on the principles of farming Duchy Organic Chicken in Northern Ireland in partnership with Moy Park and Waitrose.
In April this year His Royal Highness gave approval for Waitrose to convert all its organic chickens produced by Moy Park to the “Duchy Originals from Waitrose” brand. Bessvale Farm is a classic Moy Park chicken farm and the Tuft family keep chickens as part of their beef and sheep farm, helping to increase the farm’s income.
The farm has been in the family for six generations and the thatched farm house was built in the mid-17th century. The additional income from raising organic chickens helps provide employment on the farm for one of Mr Tuft’s sons.
Following the discussion, His Royal Highness, accompanied by Mr Dunlop, walked the short distance to the purpose-built chicken house and free range area, where HRH met Mr Desmond Jordan, “Duchy Originals from Waitrose” Chicken Rearer. HRH went on to view a specially designed vehicle used for transporting Duchy chickens and toured the chicken house.
His Royal Highness departed the farm and is expected to undertake a further engagement later today.