Leading Scottish egg producer Glenrath Farms is investing more than £3.5m in a new cracking and processing facility, as it aims to add value to its second-quality eggs.
The company has recently been awarded a £575,000 grant under the Scottish government’s Food Processing, Marketing and Co-operation Grant Scheme to help meet the cost.
Company director John Campbell said the move had been driven by past experiences when egg surpluses had driven the value of seconds down to just 7.5p/dozen.
“There are a lot of free-range seconds around at the moment and we thought, we can’t let that happen again,” he said. “But there is no egg processing facility in Scotland. All eggs for processing have to be sent away to England or Ireland.
“We did try to buy an egg processing facility from another company, which had a disused site in Scotland, but they would not sell. So we decided to do it ourselves.”
Mr Campbell said the final stages of planning permission were being dealt with and it was hoped work would begin on the new factory, which will be on one of Glenrath’s existing farms in Peeblesshire, later this year.
“We will be starting in a small way, just using our own seconds,” he said. “But we hope to build up and there will be employment benefits.”
The 18% grant for Glenrath is just one of a number of such grants awarded under Scotland’s Rural Development Programme, using EU and domestic funds to add value to primary agricultural products.
Egg producer AJ Duncan from Turriff has also received a £293,000 award, meeting 30% of the cost of an extension to the packhouse and new grading equipment.
The largest single payout is £1.77m for a new distillery at Ardnamurchan, in the western Highlands.