A West Country egg producer has seen a 50% increase in demand for free range eggs by caterers and hoteliers over the last year.

To keep up with rising demand, Blackacre Farm Eggs of North Cheriton, Somerset has welcomed a new family farm, Fosse Way Farm, into the fold with another two West Country farmers soon to join.

Wrights Dairies of Poole, Dorset is one of Blackacre’s biggest catering customers and its shift to free range has been one of the largest to date.

Wrights sales manager Neil Pluck explained: “We have seen a 50% increase in orders for free range eggs since last year because our customers are growing increasingly aware of, and concerned for the welfare of animals that produce their food. And despite economic conditions this sentiment has remained strong.

“We supply only the highest quality produce in all sectors and eggs are no exception. We provide some of the top hotels and restaurants in the area and they are demanding fresh and delicious free range eggs.”

Dan Wood from Blackacre Farm Eggs added: “The fact that the demand for our free range eggs is growing indicates a real shift in consumer patterns across the board.

“Demand through retailers for free range has been strong for a long time, but now when people go out to eat they are aware of whether the eggs they are eating are free range.”