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Hungary for knowledge

by 5m Editor
23 February 2004, at 12:00am

UK - Hungarians - producers, veterinarians and advisers - representing over 70 per cent of the country's commercial egg production visited Britain on a fact-finding mission, organised by Lohmann Animal Health.

Hungary for knowledge - UK - Hungarians - producers, veterinarians and advisers - representing over 70 per cent of the country's commercial egg production visited Britain on a fact-finding mission, organised by Lohmann Animal Health.

Neville Pennington, manager for one of Britain's largest independent egg producers, A & O Griffiths & Sons' Oakland Farm Eggs Ltd, speaks to a group of Hungarians visiting a unit in Shropshire.
The group was keen to see how the UK industry tackles quality assurance and traceability, particularly in relation to salmonella control.

These issues are becoming particularly important in Hungary as supermarket chains, such as Tesco from Britain and Penny Market from Germany move into its market and expect to apply the similar conditions of food safety, according to Péter Földi of the Budapest-based Poultry Product Board.

He explained that the country's 300 professional egg producers have 5.3 million birds, but 'backyard' producers - almost every other household - each keep flocks of 15-20, amounting to an estimated 8-10 million birds over which there is little control. In fact, only two in three eggs in Hungary are sold.

The Hungarians eat enormous quantities of eggs, 284 per person annually, compared with Britain's 140 - and also have an important export market to Germany which they would like to develop. They sold 80 million eggs to Germany last year and see further marketing opportunities when they join the EU in May and after Germany bans the use of battery cages on its own farms.

Mr Földi explained that Hungary's professional producers, some of whom have flocks of 1/2 million birds, are also anxious to protect their own market against cheap imports from countries such as Ukraine and Romania by upgrading their own industry.

Jim Bigmore, Lohmann Animal Health's business manager, told the group how the British industry had recovered from its disastrous salmonella health scare and, as a result of vaccination and good management practices, had achieved substantial reductions in salmonella outbreaks.

Following a presentation by Arjan Vigje of Incholm Veterinary Services, Fife, the group was impressed by a visit to one of Britain's largest independent egg producers, J A & O Griffiths & Sons' Oakland Farm Eggs Ltd, near Wem, Shropshire.

For further information contact:
Jim Bigmore: 0049 4721 747 195 (Lohmann Animal Health, Germany)
Martin Looker: 01473 823842 (BHR Communications)

Source: Issued by BHR Communications on behalf of Lohmann Animal Health, Germany - 20th February 2004

5m Editor