Noel Bartram, Group Chief Executive of Bernard Matthews Ltd, has been presented with the Rupert Chalmers-Watson trophy for his outstanding contribution and commitment to the British Turkey industry.

The trophy was presented by Paul Kelly, Chairman of the British Turkey Federation, who said: “This honour was created in 1979 and the list of those who have received the award over the years is a Who’s Who of the turkey sector.”

Noel Bartram joined Bernard Matthews in 1971 as a Trainee Accountant and rose to become Finance Director of the then publicly quoted company. Later he moved through various operational departments and held directorships in both production and agriculture during his time.

Kelly continued: “Noel Bartram has been active within AVEC (the European body of Poultry Processors), the British Poultry Council and Red Tractor, attending meetings throughout Europe. He has of course also been Chairman of the British Turkey Federation. I have had the pleasure of working with him on the council, and his wise words of wisdom never fall on deaf ears. He is genuinely a true professional and works tirelessly.”

Noel Bartram said: “This is a big surprise, as well as a great honour. I am delighted to be accepting this award after 41 years in the industry.”

Rupert Chalmers-Watson was a founder member of the British Turkey Federation in 1951 and a pioneer of the British turkey industry, alongside names such as Bernard Matthews, Raymond Twiddle and Ron How. Rupert’s widow Peggy created the award after his sudden death in 1977.

The Bernard Matthews company also took an award on the night for “Best Ready-to-Eat product” for their Coronation Turkey Breast Chunks. The award was presented to Charlie Douglas, Innovation Marketing Manager at Bernard Matthews by ex Wasps rugby player Peter Scrivener, Olympic Rowing Gold Medalist Sir Matthew Pinsent and Chair of the British Turkey Federation Publicity & Marketing Committee, Nicola Rye, at the event held at The Savoy.

British Turkey

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