Leading article: Turkey twizzle

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The Independent Online

The news that Bernard Matthews is to undergo an ethical rebranding certainly captures the "time for a change" zeitgeist. And the fact that the East Anglian turkey empire is doubling the number of its outdoor farmed birds is, of course, commendable from an animal welfare perspective.

But like all change, this revolution is bound to leave many feeling uncomfortable. And there is indeed something unsettling about the prospect of free-range Turkey Twizzler. Can something so reviled by polite society be rehabilitated? It is rather as if Asda had decided to turn over all its shelves to Fairtrade products, or McDonald's had announced its intention to open a chain of vegan fast-food restaurants. This is going to take some getting used to.

But the turkey industry's capacity to adapt should not be underestimated. When Mr Matthews set up his first farm 60 years ago, turkey was considered a luxury food. And Mr Matthews was the first livestock producer to unleash the potential of the personalised advertising campaign.

Perhaps in the world of poultry, like politics, it is necessary to keep moving so that things can remain the same. Time for a change? Bootiful.