Farmer Joe -Thailand's Bernard Matthews

Tough turkey says wife ‘This is Thailand’
Farmer Joe plucking away
Plucking away in Hua Hin in bygone days

Joe Stanyer, 57, was the equivalent of Britain’s Bernard Matthews, but things are now not so ‘bootiful’ for the former farm labourer from Shifnal, Shropshire.
He says his Thai wife sold 8 acres of his ten acre farm from under him and when his eldest son became ill, running short of cash, he sold his car and had to flee back to Britain with his two sons, aged 11, and 5, and daughter, aged 10, and share a home in Woodford Green, Essex, with his sister’s family.
And now he is back in Thailand again after hearing there is a court order out against his house and remaining two acres of land against debts accumulated by his wife.
‘She has gobbled up everything,’ he said. ‘She got a car on credit and failed to make the payments claiming it was stolen. But I have seen her ex-husband running around in it.’All the money went on her and her family, including sending her daughter for education in Australia.’

farmer joe and his turkeys

Stanyer says he is close to penniless and his children had to be fostered by Redridge Council, Essex, after he had to leave them and return to Thailand to sort out his affairs. He was unable to find suitable work in Britain.

‘Not surprisingly the social services were not too keen to help me in my predicament. I hope this serves as a warning to others.
farmer Joe and his wife and daughters‘My wife is being taken to court over the final land and house because she owes cash to a finance company owned by Thailand’s Ayudhya Bank,’ he said at his farmhouse outside Hua Hin, 200 miles south of Bangkok.
‘I have offered to pay the outstanding balance on the car. But they won’t listen. They want my house. I’m waiting to fight it in court with my last pennies.
‘We divorced because we were incompatible, but by that time she had already sold most of the land and I had to get a 30 year lease out from her on the remainder .
Joe Stanyer sold turkeys in Thailand under the ‘Farmer Joe’ label.  His clients included the country’s top hotels as he had the only fresh turkeys in the country.
He was put out of business by Thailand’s Livestock Department during the Asian Bird Flu years, while Thailand’s giant CP food conglomerate was allowed to proceed in the same business.
CP has since closed down their turkey farm and now foreigners in Thailand will be eating frozen turkey for Christmas.

farmer Joe production line

Farmer Joe’s production line
Stanyer’s wife Nontakan(Nonkan) from Roi-Et said: ‘He’s mad. We divorced. He did not want to give me anything. He should know this is Thailand not England’.
‘He did not look after me or his family’.
farmer Joe in the palms

All gobbled up now
Under Thai law foreigners can only own land in Thailand in exceptional circumstances. Joe Stanyer bought his property in his Thai wife’s name. The land he lost had a value of 11 approximately million baht.
‘Christmas Dinner, that’s off. But maybe I will have a couple of beers with friends tonight.’

About the Author

Andrew Drummond

Andrew Drummond is a British independent journalist and occasional television documentary maker. He is a former Fleet Street, London, journalist having worked at the Evening Standard, Daily Mail, Mail on Sunday, News of the World, Observer and The Times.

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