Almond Grove Turkeys go from Murray Bridge to New York City

You still won't find Almond Grove Turkeys in the phone book, but you might find them on the tables of New York's finest restaurants.

Murray Bridge East turkey producer John Holland shared the story of his success at Murray Bridge's monthly business breakfast last Wednesday.

After spending a year on a hobby farm in the early 1990s as a break from his executive career, he decided to quit, buy 1000 turkeys and set up a farm.

A mysterious request for the delivery of three birds to Adelaide Airport led him to a lucrative contract for the US market.

Similarly, Adelaide Casino asked him for 30 kilograms of breast meat per week for turkey rolls; he sent a few supreme cuts instead, and wound up shipping 300kg a week to chef Sean Connolly's restaurant.

A $50,000 grant from the state government was another turning point for the family business.

Almond Grove Turkeys has since expanded into turkey sausages, bacon, chorizo and pepperoni, and has become the only Humane Choice-certified turkey producer in Australia.

They turned over more than $100,000 for the first timein 2016 and raised more than 5000 birds last year.

"Our six-kilo birds retail at probably $90 or $100 each," Mr Holland said.

"We've sent 500 to Sydney this year, and they were selling at $200.

"People really do like South Australia, like South Australian produce, and the more we promote it, the better."

The breakfast also featured talks from Food SA's Darren Curnow, who explained how the organisation marketed South Australian food overseas, grew local businesses' capacity and capability, and helped forge industry connections.

It also hosted an annual awards event and operated the Eat Local SA program, which reached more than 25,000 newsletter subscribers and many more through a mobile app.

Murray Computers' Matthew Gravestocks and Jared Marston warned those present about the obligation for businesses with an annual turnover of $3 million or more, and some others, to notify the federal government about data breaches.

Breaches might include the theft of private information by a hacker, but also the loss of a company phone or laptop.


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