Bird ’flu farm calls in crisis support

The poultry producer at the centre of the latest avian ’flu outbreak has brought in the Madano Partnership to manage crisis communications.

Gressingham Foods has moved to hire Madano following a recommendation by one of its customers. It is understood that part of the brief is to keep the Redgrave Poultry name distinct from that of Gressingham, and to reinforce that Gressingham’s other products are not affected by the outbreak.

Gressingham wants to avoid the negative coverage suffered by iconic turkey brand Bernard Matthews, which was accused of being too slow to respond to an avian ’flu outbreak at one of its farms in Norfolk earlier this year (PRWeek, 11 February).

Gressingham owns Redgrave Poultry, which runs the poultry operation at Redgrave Park Farm, near Diss on the Suffolk/Norfolk border. On Tuesday, free-range turkeys at the farm were confirmed by Defra to be infected with the deadly H5N1 influenza strain on Tuesday, leading to the culling of more than 20,000 birds.

Gressingham operations director, Geoffrey Buchanan, has stressed that no inf­ected birds have entered the food chain.

The Madano team will be led by partner Adam Wurf.

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