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Welsh Egg Production Gets Boost

by 5m Editor
8 March 2011, at 10:59am

UK - There will be no shortage of Welsh eggs this Pancake Day, thanks to a new investment of over £830,000 aimed to boost egg production in Wales.

Two egg producers have benefitted from over £72,000 through the Processing and Marketing Grant (PMG) scheme, funded through the Rural Development Plan for Wales 2007-2013, which is funded by the Welsh Assembly Government and the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development: Europe investing in Rural Areas.

The Processing and Marketing Grant scheme supports farm and forestry businesses, food and drink producers and processors to add value to their products and become innovative and competitive in global markets.

The Abberley Partnership in Llandrindod Wells, Powys has expanded their business by adding facilities for a further 12,000 flock, doubling their output of free range eggs. £27,262 of PMG funding has helped pay for the purchase and installation of equipment to process an additional 3.2 million eggs a year.

Trewern Isaf Free Range Eggs in Llanrhaeadr Yr Mochnant, Oswestry has set up business to produce and package free range eggs. £45,643 PMG funding contributed to the installation of a packing room that will enable a hygienic, efficient way to package the eggs and a 16,000 bird unit, which will produce on average 30,000 dozen eggs per month.

The two family run businesses see the poultry units as a means of additional income, enabling the next generation to remain at the farms.

Elin Jones, Minister for Rural Affairs, said: “The processing and marketing grant scheme is an effective way of supporting companies like these who are important to the economy of Wales. In providing this support we are building and sustaining competitive, profitable and sustainable farming and food industries that are of benefit to the rural communities, the economy and the people of Wales.”

Ross Abberley from Abberley Partnership said: “The PMG grant supported our business greatly, enabling it to expand to produce over 6 million eggs a year and creating a sustainable food production in the heart of Mid Wales. It has also safeguarded my brother and myself to remain in the business, and to proceed to grow for future generations."

Sarah Lewis of Trewern Isaf said: “The PMG grant allowed us to diversify the business into woodland free range egg production. I was able to fulfil my desire to leave my management role in a bank of 23 years to manage and run the free range unit. We have also been able to employ a couple of part time staff, which in a rural area where jobs are few and far between, must have been of some benefit to the local community. We were grateful that the grant was agreed, as it certainly made the initial costs and subsequent cash flow forecasts more palatable, and perhaps without this assistance the free range unit would not have been considered as a viable diversification project.”

The Welsh Assembly Government is also on target to become fully compliant with EU Directive which bans the use of conventional ‘barren’ cages for laying hens from 1 January 2012.

Minister Jones added: “In Wales we are clear about the importance of this ban to improve the welfare of laying hens. But it is also important that the ban comes in to force on the date as planned.

“Thanks to the hard work and co-operation of poultry keepers in Wales, we are on target to be fully compliant in Wales by 2012, and believe that all EU countries should be working towards this date as well.”