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The first BFREPA Awards event was an incredible success, with over 120 diners in attendance.
I must thank everyone who helped make the event a resounding success as we start discussions to increase the diner numbers for next year, giving more producers and traders the opportunity to celebrate awarding success to outstanding contributions made over the past year and I congratulate all the winners. The new dinner format is a great chance to network and I urge all producers to reserve their tickets for next years’ event as soon as they are released.
The subsequent Conference was the perfect opportunity to announce two new initiatives.
The NewGen programme aims to help fund the next generation of egg producers. BFREPA will offer grants to help young people working in the sector reach their full potential.
The Food Standards Agency have issued a recall on Dr Zaks barn farmed liquid egg white infected with salmonella. A product sourced in France, and another reminder of why retailers should look to British egg and British egg products. The UK’s salmonella record is second to none.
This recall and outbreaks reported in this Ranger both in the United States and Australia, should make us pause and reflect on the devastating effect an outbreak can have on an egg farm.
In some respects, and thankfully, not many of us will have had any experience in dealing with an outbreak, and for that reason we do not understand or can even comprehend the processes and regulations we have to follow to return to a disease free status.
The cruel hard facts are that there is over supply, not witnessed by many before, it may come as a shock to new producers experiencing a changing market for the first time. To make matters worse, it comes at a time that supermarket contracts are being negotiated. Some producers have already experienced a cut in prices and some on fixed deals are having to renegotiate.
As we discussed in the last Ranger, BFREPA would discourage any attempt by packers or retailers to alter the base price of producers feed trackers.
Blackdown Hills Westcountry Eggs entering receivership is a reminder of how quickly the tide turns and the serious repercussions for those producers who have to bear the consequences. This was a reasonable sized family business and its downturn is heart breaking for all those concerned. Whilst all their producers have found homes for their eggs on either long term or short-term contracts -ranging from 75 pence to 90 pence – most will not be close to the deal they were on at Blackdown Hills…..