Tough year for egg producers boosts free range numbers

A challenging 12 months for the egg producing industry has seen a surge in membership of the British Free Range Egg Producers Association (BFREPA), the organisation has reported.

Avian flu insurance was cited as a reason behind the surge. Picture: Ian Rutherford
Avian flu insurance was cited as a reason behind the surge. Picture: Ian Rutherford

Citing the insurance which it offers to help in outbreaks of avian influenza (AI) and the organisation’s political lobbying, the association said that it was the only organisation which would ensure that the egg producers’ voices were heard.

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BFREPA chief executive Robert Gooch said that more than 500 free range egg businesses with a total flock of 11.5 million birds were now members of the organisation.

He added that as part of their membership, the group’s members received £50,000 of secondary cleansing and disinfection insurance cover.

“With a nationwide AI housing order in place, joining BFREPA is believed to be the only way that free range egg producers can currently secure a new policy to help cover the cost of a clean-up after an outbreak,” said Gooch.

All producer members also receive a free AI contingency planning workbook which details the steps free range units can take to prepare to deal with an outbreak, he added.

“Undoubtedly the unique insurance scheme we negotiated has been extremely popular with producers and we know that our recently-launched contingency planning workbooks are being filled in across England, Scotland and Wales.

“These membership benefits are specifically designed to help free range egg producers build protection and resilience in their businesses,” Gooch added.