A LISNASKEA based company is handling millions of eggs a day, and is continuing to go from strength to strength.
Ready Egg Products, based at Manor Waterhouse Farm just outside Lisnaskea, processes over four million eggs every day and is thought to be among the largest producer of eggs in the UK – with many of the eggs coming from local laying farms.
Over the years, the company has expanded and its products are primarily used in the food manufacturing industry, with 95% of its market in Great Britain, 3% in the Republic and just 2% staying within the North.
The company was started in 1975 by local man Charles Crawford producing shell eggs and packing at the Lisnaskea site, and now has a workforce of approximately 180.
The company has recently revealed their ambitious plans to diversify into producing dried and powdered egg products and with a further investment of between £20-30 million, it is set to become an increasingly important player in the UK food market.
Charles Crawford explains he has seen ‘a lot of changes’ since first starting the company.
“We started egg production in the 70s but we started egg processing in 2004. We did 10 tonne in the first year, and we are now doing a thousand tonne – four million eggs a day, 52 weeks of the year. We never stop.
“It is great for the local economy, and the benefits are felt among the farming community, lorry drivers, feed mills, packaging companies and anyone involved. We have people who joined me all those years ago who are still here.”
The company’s main market is the UK, also operating a large site in Chesterfield in England.
The site in Lisnaskea is busy place, but Mr Crawford’s business would not be a success without the local farmers.
“For us to process eggs, we need eggs as a raw material and the buzz word in this day and age is free range. Free range cannot all be in a line in one place, it is spread all around farmers around the countryside, mainly around Fermanagh and Tyrone but also throughout the North. We buy in eggs occasionally from practically every country in Europe. The North is still an agri-economy, and it is important that people recognise that – we need the farmer and the farmer needs us.”
Looking towards the future, Mr Charles explained that the ‘biggest plan we have for the future is egg powder.’
“We are busy down here – we are investing all the time, and we have farmers investing all the time. We cannot stand still – if we stand still, we go backwards.”
Posted: 7:20 pm June 6, 2019