For the last 49 years Norfolk Geese has been the leading supplier of goslings and goose eggs throughout the UK and Ireland. The business was founded by the late John Adlard in 1972 and has built a reputation on security of supply and customer care.
Today, Norfolk Geese is a partnership between John's daughter Georgia Hegarty and her husband Eddie, with their children Erin and Joseph stepping up to lend a hand. It was always John's hope and expectation that Norfolk Geese would continue in the traditional family focused style that he established nearly 50 years ago, and we are sure that he would be proud of how the business has developed during the toughest trading year in nearly half a century.
Chestnut Farm has always been part of life. From a young age, Joseph has hatched and reared geese as pets (even sharing bedroom space) and daily family life always included birds roaming free range through the house.
These are the values upon which Norfolk Geese was built and has always prided itself on. From John's founding ethos to today, as a family we care about what we offer as it has been a central part of our lives across the generations.
We are committed to carrying on improving the performance of the goose eggs we supply, together with providing expert technical service and support for our customers, who have been so central to our success and reputation over all these years.
We have always represented and promoted British goose production and will always champion this cause.
We are one of the few true British goose producers who can supply birds born and bred in Britain.
OUR FOUNDER - JOHN ADLARD 1938 - 2005
John Adlard, who died in August 2005, was the architect of the modern day revival in the goose industry. In 2005 John was posthumously recognised for his meritorious service to the poultry industry of the U.K. His family were invited to accept the award on his behalf, from James Paice MP, Shadow Minister for Agriculture at the House of Commons . It was an incredibly special day for the family and British Goose Producers . It would not be an understatement to say that John was the goose industry, not only its leader as Chairman of the British Goose Producers Association but also as an ambassador for the modern revival of goose as a popular product . This award recognised his inspirational dedication to the goose producers the length and breadth of the British Isles .
As the founding chairman of the British Goose Producers Association (BGPA) since its formation in 1983, John had the foresight to see the potential consumer appeal of the traditional goose and was the inspiration behind today’s trendy image of the Christmas goose. From the 1970s and early 1980s when goose production was dwindling, the industry has expanded year-on-year and growing demand has even led to shortages of traditionally reared, fresh geese.
The son of a Norwich bank manager, he saw his career in farming and became a salesman for an animal feed manufacturer. Soon after he moved to Chestnut Farm at Pulham Market in 1968, he was made redundant at the age of 30 and set up in business selling animal health products and, after a while, also rearing pigs and poultry.
One day his turkey supplier, who was also importing goslings from Denmark, mentioned that he was giving up geese and John took the opportunity to buy his gosling business. Then for the next four years he and his wife Susan made regular trips each week to collect day-old goslings off the boat at Harwich to deliver to customers.
In time, their business Norfolk Geese formed a close association with the Legarth family in Denmark who were world leaders in selective breeding to improve meat yield, and they began importing breeding stock to hatch their own goslings.
The Adlards began supplying goose producers across the country in the days when the railway was the main means of reaching far-off customers. Norfolk Geese expanded and became the largest supplier to the UK market, hatching up to 100,000 goslings between April and August. The business gained export markets for hatching eggs and goslings, and also found a useful sideline in selling blown goose eggs for decorating.
The couple organised the first national conference of goose producers in 1982 which led to the BGPA being formed and a campaign launched to co-ordinate research, marketing and promotion of geese. For further information on the BGP visit their website www.geese.cc
Throughout the last 49 years John legacy and reputation still caries throughout the goose industry to this day. He became the goose industry’s best known person, a visionary who was always a positive inspiration and ever ready to provide advice to members or aspiring goose producers. He was also a popular figure in his home village, helping with many charitable causes, particularly Cancer Research.
He is survived by two daughters Louise and Georgia, and four grandchildren. His wife, Sue, who contributed greatly to the early success of the business died in 1990.