Is ‘The Archers Effect’ behind a boost in Christmas goose sales?

Judith Dryden with her geese.
Judith Dryden with her geese.
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“The Archers Effect” has been credited for a surge in sales at an East Durham poultry farm.

Judith Dryden, who raises free-range geese and turkeys at Murton Moor Farm, in Murton, had been baffled after seeing demand spike earlier than usual in the year.

People are Googling, looking for traditional geese – and if you Google geese in the North East, you come up with me.

Judith Dryden

“It is usually about the middle of December that we start to think about how many geese we have left, but this year we are already almost sold out,” she said.

It was a customer who offered the suggestion that Radio 4 could be responsible.

The soap has recently witnessed the arrival of brothers Rex and Toby Fairbrother in Ambridge, who have gone for goose production in a big way.

It has not been an entirely smooth process, not least because they are in direct competition with the Grundy family’s long-established turkey business.

The brothers may have ruffled a few feathers in sleepy Borsetshire, but it has sparked a new interest in the UK’s traditional yuletide roast.

The Archers’ producers have gone to great lengths to be realistic, even to the extent of having their fictional farmers attend real-world events.

“The Goose Association held a meeting and the Archers made out that the Fairbrothers had actually been there, and had taken part” said Judith.

With turkey sales still holding up well, the Archers has given Judith’s bottom line a welcome boost.

“It is extra business,” she said. “Other goose producers are seeing the same thing. People are Googling, looking for traditional geese – and if you Google geese in the North East, you come up with me.”

Judith is set for a further boost from Radio 4, with a team from the “On Your Farm”’ programme visiting next week to record a segment for transmission before Christmas.