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Poultry Industry Service Honours

by 5m Editor
12 December 2008, at 11:28am

UK - Three members of the British Poultry industry were honoured this week for their services to the industry.

Colin Aves, Ian Harrison and John Preston were presented with Distinguished Service Awards by the British Poultry Council.

The awards were presented by the chairman of the UK's Food Safety Authority, Dame Deidre Hutton, at the Houses of Parliament in London this week.

Mr Aves of Paul Flatman Ltd has been producing broilers in Suffolk for more than 40 years, and was also the founder of Victoria Hatchery Ltd, supplying day old chicks both for the home market and export.

He began his career as a fieldsman with Cobb in the late 1960's. He was a General Farmer and also a Broiler Breeder Farmer and Broiler Grower. He supplied Golden Produce with hatching eggs for their hatchery in Diss, Golden Produce was taken over by Sovereign Chicken (subsequently Grampian) and the hatchery was closed.

Mr Aves then managed to purchase the hatchery, and set it up as an independent hatchery. He supplied the independent growers in East Anglia. He then went into slow growing day old chicks, which was a first in the late 80'/early 90's.

When Victoria Hatcheries closed down, Mr Aves joined Paul Flatman Ltd. where he built up and ran the broiler growing operation.

"It is a tribute to him, and the standing in which he is held by those in the industry, that so many of his colleagues are here today. The British Poultry Council rightly recognises Colin for his prominent role in the evolution of UK's chicken sector over the last 50 years," said the chairman of the BPC Ted Wright.

Ian Harrison or Harrison's Poultry has spent nearly 60 years in the poultry industry, a career which began on his father's farmer where he started his skills as a 'chicken sexer'.

Mr Harrison first worked for South Down Hatcheries in South Cheshire, and subsequently joined North West Chick Sexers. He travelled all over the North of England and South of Scotland in the era of the small independent hatcheries.

He continued chick sexing full time until 1972, when he set up with his father Harrisons Poultry Limited which expanded on his part time business of growing and processing 'poussin', a small whole chicken for one person. Ian went on to be a driving force behind the then British Poultry Federation's mass lobby of MPs at Westminster in the 1970's to bring to their attention unfair treatment of the Poultry slaughterhouse compared to their red meat counterparts.

Through the 1980s and 1990s Harrisons Poultry went from strength to strength and now sits in the market as a major domestic and foreign supplier of poussin. In this time Ian has contributed to the BPC through sitting on its governing body and has been a major supporter of the Poultry Industry Conference.

Mr Wright said: "Despite having passed retirement age and ill health, which he put down to all the early morning fried egg and bacon butties (the staple diet of chick sexers) he was "forced" to eat, Ian is still putting in 50 hrs weeks with his company.

"It is fitting and highly appropriate for him to receive formal recognition today of his tireless efforts in pursuit of a successful poultry industry."

John Preston of Faccenda Ltd has been focussed entirely within the poultry breeding arena and he's recognized as one of the most technically competent breeding managers within the UK industry.

During his career Mr Preston has worked for both of the major primary breeding companies and since 1981 he has held the post of Divisional breeding manager for Faccenda Group Ltd, a post which he holds to this day.

Following his education in agriculture, he started his career with Cobb UK in November 1971. Starting at the sharp end, John's ability was quickly recognized and he was given the job of Relief Farms Manager on the Cobb Grand Parent Farms.

In February 1974 he moved to Ross Breeders at Woodhall spa. His time at Ross took him abroad, and he spent three months in Iran prior to the revolution trying to set up an integrated unit for the placement of Ross Stock.

In 1981 John relocated from Fife to Rochford in Essex to take up the post of Divisional breeding farm manager for Faccenda Chicken. Today he has responsibility for the entire Breeding Division, making him responsible for 800,000 breeders, including the rearing facilities and the contract base.

"John's former colleagues in Cobb and Aviagen remember him well and speak highly of him, often asking for his advice and input. He is very well respected by the flock farmers as an adviser and mentor, and continues to play a key role in Faccenda," said Mr Wright.

"John's contribution has been huge and his consistent efforts are recognised by today's award."