LEADING Scottish egg producer Glenrath Farms of Peebles is about to invest more than £3.5 million in a new cracking and processing facility in an attempt to add value to its second-quality eggs.
Speaking yesterday, the founder of the company, 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 per dozen.
Currently Glenrath produce about 1.5 million eggs every day and Campbell said that around 10 per cent of that production is either seconds or cracks. “It is a big part of the market and we have been working at doing something along these lines project for some time,” he said.
“There are a lot of free-range seconds around at the moment and we thought, we can’t let that happen again. But there is no egg processing facility in Scotland. All eggs for processing have to be sent south to England or shipped over to Ireland.”
He added that Glenrath had tried to buy an egg processing facility from another company which had a disused site in Scotland, but the company would not sell for professional reasons. “So we decided to do it ourselves.”
The final stages of planning permission are currently being dealt with and he hoped work would shortly begin on the new factory, which will be on one of Glenrath’s existing farms in Peeblesshire.
“We will be starting in a small way, just using our own seconds,” he said. But once any teething problems were sorted out, he hoped to build that part of the business up.”
He estimated that up to 30 jobs could be created when the new facility is fully working. With regard to sales of the product, which will be pasteurized, Campbell said he had already been approached by three large-scale potential customers.
Last year the turnover at Glenrath rose to £55M from the previous year’s figure of £50M. Campbell was speaking on a trip to London supermarkets where he reported sales of Kitty Campbell’s Free Range eggs were “exceeding our predictions”.
To help fund the new facility the company has been awarded a £575,000 grant under the Scottish Government’s food processing, marketing and co-operation grant scheme.