Television celebrity Adam Henson presented the British Free Range Egg Producers Association’s annual awards at the National Motorcycle Museum in Birmingham on 25 November.
With the help of the voice of the National Lottery’s Alan Dedicoat, Mr Henson presented the following awards, which this year were sponsored by Elanco.
Retailer of the year: Marks and Spencer (collected by Peter Kennedy).
Farm business of the year: Fairburns Eggs, Alford, Lincolnshire (collected by Daniel Fairburn).
Marketing initiative of the year: Happy Egg Company, Lincolnshire (collected by Siobhan McAndrew).
Producer of the year (one to five years): Clive and Liz Patrick, Thurlby Grange Farms, Bourne, Lincolnshire.
Producer of the year (5 years or more): Philip Twizell, Sadberge, Darlington, County Durham.
Small producer of the year: Andrew Hall, Wilton Gate House Farm, Pickering, North Yorkshire.
Lifetime achievement of the year: Roger Lythe, Whixley, North Yorkshire.
Commenting on his lifetime achievement award, Mr Lythe said there had been a massive change in production over the past 40 years: “In the late 1980’s and early 1990’s, flat-deck units housed between 2,000 and 4,000 birds, and the eggs were hand-picked.
“Now start-up units have 16,000 to 32,000 birds on multitier systems that have fully controlled environments with on-farm egg packing.”
Mr Lythe, who worked for four decades for BOCM Pauls (now ForFarmers) as a feed specialist, is working three days a week for Thompsons of York. He said one of the challenges for the industry was to improve egg shell quality and extend the laying period.
“The economics are really valuable if we can move from depopulating at 72 weeks to depopulating at 80-90 weeks.”