A £5m investment in new packing facilities and offices back in 2013 has resulted in 30% growth for Yorkshire egg producer Chippindale Foods.
The company marks four years this week since its move to a purpose-built 55,000 sq ft low carbon headquarters at Flaxby, and managing director Nick Chippindale said the investment had played a crucial role in delivering more local produce to supermarket shelves.
The move was promoted by increased demand for free range eggs and a desire to improve efficiency and sustainability across the supply chain.
“The investment has meant more staff, more vehicles and more eggs,” said Nick.
“Most importantly of all we have been able to provide a route to market for more regional poultry farmers across Yorkshire, Lancashire and Northumberland and have supported many others to become new free range egg producers.”
The past four years have not been without their challenges and Nick said innovation has been crucial in a market that has become increasingly commoditised.
“Although demand for free range eggs continues to rise, they are increasingly seen as a commodity with retailers driving efficiency through the supply chain and cutting margins. Our challenge is to continually look at new ideas which differentiate our product and give our farmers a market for their eggs,” Nick explained.
One of Chippindale’s most successful initiatives has been its local egg ranges of Yorkshire, Northumberland and Lancashire branded free range eggs, sourced from local farms and supplied to regional branches of Co-op and Morrisons.
The company has also developed an award-winning biodiversity range in partnership with the Bumblebee Conservation Trust, which has led to the planting of 16 acres of bumblebee and nature friendly habitat on its egg producing farms in Yorkshire. These farms now supply the entire Yorkshire egg range, which is promoted as bee friendly on packs and won a marketing award at the 2016 BFREPA egg producers’ conference.
“Demand is high, production levels are up to over 4 million eggs a week and we have excellent relationships with the major supermarkets, none of which would have been possible without that decision to invest in Flaxby back in August 2013,” said Nick.
“Having said all that, we never sit back and we have plenty of new ideas in the pipeline to support a strong local network of egg producers and a reliable supply of local free range eggs to retailers.”