Free-range farmers recognised at BFREPA awards

The British Free Range Egg Producers Association (BFREPA) has named industry stalwart Colin Saunders as the recipient of its lifetime achievement award.

The presentation was made at the group’s annual conference, held at the British Motorcycle Museum, Warwickshire, on 20 November.

Mr Saunders spent four decades at Ross Poultry before working for Daylay, which eventually became part of Noble Foods.

Roger Gent, chairman of BFREPA, told the conference Mr Saunders’ “experience and willingness to help anyone in a fix was legendary among his colleagues, and he is held in the highest regard”.

Ann Herbert (pictured) was named producer of the year with over five years in business, while Cheshire farmer Ben Wharfe was top producer farming for less than five years.

Mr Gent called Anne Herbert a “pioneer” of free-range egg farming, and noted her enthusiasm for education.

“She’s passionate about telling local schoolchildren about how food is produced, and last year alone, hosted more than 60 school visits,” he said.

Mr Wharfe won BFREPA’s accolade for a relative newcomer to egg farming, having set up after a career in the army. He went into free-range egg production as a way of intensifying production on his family farm.

Supermarket Waitrose won retailer of the year for its long-term support of free range, and being “cage free” from 2001.

BFREPA’s marketing initiative award was won by The Happy Egg Co for its 2013 “Happy Hens Lay Tastier Eggs” campaign.

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