Our Golden Turkey accredited farmer Sam Figgis is a fifth generation farmer, producing turkeys on the family’s fruit farm in Kent. Sam’s bronze turkeys are fortunate to have a plentiful supply of spare apples from their orchards, which is a popular treat in the autumn on their farm! Find out more about Sam’s Turkeys below…
How long has your family been in farming and what made you join our association to become a Golden Turkey Farmer?
I’ve been a farmer for 8 years but I am a fifth generation farmer on my family’s fruit farm in Hernhill, Kent. I have also worked in Australia and New Zealand doing quality control for an a company producing apples.
As fruit farming has been in my family for 5 generations, I wanted to branch off into something a little different. I’ve always been interested in livestock and the turkeys were originally an entrepreneurial venture for me. However, the business has grown quickly over the last four years and we now have become a trusted business with new and returning customers.
Joining us for our daily work are our farm and gun dogs, Oyster and Gate. They are mum and daughter and both black Labradors. We also have Grandma, Issy, but she’s retired now
Do you produce anything else on your farm? What do you do in the first 6 months of the year, when not producing turkeys?
Yes, we also produce top fruit, soft fruit and pigs to accompany the turkey sales.
I take a well-needed break for a holiday in January and then it is back to work in preparation for the soft fruit season.
Who else do you normally sell Golden Turkeys to?
We sell direct from the farm, and also to high-end pubs and restaurants, including The Pig at Bridge Place and the Dove at Dargate.
What do you enjoy most about what you do?
Being outside and able to enjoy the changing seasons. I also love making customers happy with good quality produce.
What or who, inspires you?
Knowing I’m a custodian of the countryside and the challenge of looking after it for the next generation.
What was your first job?
Strawberry picking, I wasn’t very good though!
What would you be doing, if you weren’t a farmer?
Probably bored out of my mind!
No, I would have travelled a bit more – but I’m honestly not sure. Farming has been my life since I was young so I don’t know any different!
Tea or Coffee?
It depends on the time of day. I don’t cope well without my morning coffee but I always look forward to my evening tea.
Favourite Book or Film?
Snatch Films – You can’t beat a good Bond film.
Chocolate – Cadbury’s Wispa Gold to be precise!
Best way to relax after a stressful day?
Beer and shooting – not in the order though! That wouldn’t make for a very good aim!
Which social media platforms do you use for your Christmas Turkey business?
Instagram and Facebook but we also use print and feature in a number of Kent magazines. I definitely prefer Instagram!
How has the Corona Virus Pandemic affected your farm life and business?
Hugely. We have struggled to find the workforce to pick our fruit, as with many others in the industry.
Are you planning to offer a nationwide delivery service?
Not currently because we have a strong local market which is growing healthily. However, Sam’s Turkeys will undergo some large and exciting developments next year which will allow us to expand our reach – watch this space!
Do you foresee any particular staffing problems this year, for the processing of the turkeys for Christmas?
Yes, producing Farm fresh Golden Turkeys takes a lot longer and so skilled staffing is essential. As with other areas on the farm, coronavirus has caused many problems with finding staff.
Further Details: https://www.samsturkeys.co.uk
Facebook: @Sam’s Turkeys