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Free Range Poultry Flying with Demand

by 5m Editor
29 April 2008, at 11:31a.m.

UK - Noble Foods, the UK's largest supplier of free-range eggs has predicted a bright future of growth in its chosen sector. They forecast a growth rate as high as 10 per cent in 2008.

To accommodate this growth, the company has made significant investments in free range eggs on its own farms and it is running a major recruitment campaign aimed at existing producers who are considering increasing production and at potential new producers.


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"Free range egg production is still one of the most profitable parts of farming and demand is expanding"
Contract supplies manager John Holt.

Based in Tring, Hertfordshire and with packing and technical product development sites around Britain, Noble Foods has already invested £3.5 million in the free range sector in the past 12 months. An additional £4.5 million has been spent in a state-or-the-art packing centre in Lincolnshire with further developments in packing, processing and the distribution chain planned.

Contract supplies manager John Holt sees free-range as a good option on many types of farms across the country. "Despite higher feed costs that have absorbed some of the increase in producer prices, free range egg production is still one of the most profitable parts of farming and demand is expanding.

"We see free range being added to a wide range of businesses from small mixed farms with other livestock to large-scale arable units. And free range is one of the few options for new entrants to farming.

"Theres no need for previous experience in poultry," adds Mr Holt. "We have a team of eight field and specialist staff who can offer technical advice on the site, buildings and equipment and on gaining planning permission. And once production starts, we offer a lot of support and are in contact at least weekly in the early days until all parties are happy and confident."

Mr Holt finds that producers expanding into a second or third flock have different demands but he encourages them to look around at the options now available as there have been rapid developments in buildings and equipments in the past few years.