This week we enjoyed a tour of the local success story that is Fairburns Eggs.
A family run business for three generations, Fairburns started in 1951 with 150 chickens – it now boasts over 1.5 million. We visited the packaging plant just outside Burgh Le Marsh where they ship 18 million eggs a week (sourced from other farms as well as their own). The eggs form some 90 lines which are distributed to supermarkets all around the UK.
As eggs are relatively cheap and low margin wastage must be minimised. We learnt that eggs too small for sale will be used by the food industry to be processed into products like scotch eggs or to be used as boiled eggs in salads. Even cracked eggs are put into a centrifuge to separate out the shell leaving a liquid suitable for processing by the food industry.
With rising minimum wage and the possibility of reduced access to cheap labour from the EU, Fairburns continue to invest in automation to increase their productivity. We saw several machines carrying out tasks including the unloading of pallets, grading, checking for cracks, checking for dirt, boxing and more.
Thanks to very knowledgeable Amy for answering our many questions being such an eggcellent guide…