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06-07-2016

ForFarmers host 28th Scottish Egg Quality Awards

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ForFarmers were delighted to host this years Scottish Egg Quality Awards  in associatation with SRUC. The event, held in Perth, celebrates the achievements of Scottish egg producers and the high quality of their products.

“The Scottish Egg Quality Awards have grown from strength to strength and have proved to be one of the most important events in the Scottish Egg producers calendar.   The competition, now in its 28th year, promotes the outstanding quality of Scottish eggs and raises the profile of producers across the country,” commented John Cessford, Marketing Manager at ForFarmers, joint organisers of the event with the Scottish Rural College (SRUC).

Moira Henderson, Past Chairperson of The Scottish Egg Producers Retailers Association (SEPRA), encouraged winners in this year’s Scottish Egg Quality Awards Competition to promote Scottish products and “shout about” the high quality of their eggs when she spoke at the awards presentation ceremony attended by producers from all over Scotland, competing for the prestigious Producer, Producer Retailer and Organic Producer Awards.

Once again the scope of this year’s competition was illustrated by the organisers having to drive nearly 3,000 miles across Scotland to collect entrants’ eggs for judging by an independent team at the SRUC, led by Professor Nick Sparks, Head of Animal & Veterinary Sciences. Competitors’ eggs were assessed on a number of characteristics including shell quality and thickness, colour, albumen height, yolk quality and inclusions (blood or meat spots). Entrants with the highest scores were invited to the awards ceremony where they were presented with Certificates of Commendation with an overall winner in each category.

Professor Jos Houdijk, who now leads the monogastic department at SRUC having succeeded Professor Nick Sparks, represented the college during the event and made his debut at the Prizegiving.  He thanked Professor Sparks for his valuable involvement in the competition over the years.    He emphasised the continued support of SRUC to Scottish egg producers and the Egg Quality Awards Competition and praised the commitment of egg producers to ensure their products were of consistently high quality.

Stuart Retson, of JSR Services, Blairgowrie, John Cessford, Iain Campbell, ForFarmer’s Account Manager-Poultry Specialist, and Elwyn Lewis, of Hy-line UK Ltd. collected the entrants’ eggs.  Mr Lewis collected eggs from the Scottish Borders and Lothian areas. He commented that the quality awards recognize many positive aspects of the Scottish egg industry and that he was proud to be able to support the event.

Moira Henderson, praised the commitment of Scottish producers and said “It is hard to produce high quality eggs.   Be confident in your product and use these awards to raise the profile of Scottish producers and encourage the continuation of this quest for quality”.  She commended SRUC’s support of Scottish producers and emphasised that the close working -relationship with SEPRA and SRUC was set to continue.

Her comments were endorsed by Iain Campbell of ForFarmers who said that the number of new entrants and winners at the awards this year only demonstrated how good the overall Scottish Egg Industry was at providing the highest quality produce consistently, reaffirming how many quality producers there were in Scotland.

Robert Chapman, Managing Director of Farmlay Eggs, Fraserburgh, was awarded the shield for the overall Producer Retailer category, which was extended to accommodate the 28 winners. He said the competition was a great showcase for the Scottish egg industry and recognised the hard work put in by producers to produce top quality eggs. He was thrilled to win the overall award in the Producer/Retailer category, especially after winning an Outstanding citation in the category last year.  “We have always prided ourselves on the quality of our product.  It is nice when this is recognised and you win an award of this stature.  It acknowledges all the hard work of our staff and producers,” he said.

Gordon Whiteford of Rosebrae, Arderseir picked up the overall award in the Organic Category.  Mr Whiteford, who has 14,000 birds on two sites, sells the eggs from his British Blacktail birds to Stonegate for supply to Waitrose.    He places great store by the quality competition and has been been “short listed” twice in the past.

A & A Mackay of Brackla Farm in Cawdor, Nairn, won the overall award (silver Quaich cup) in the Producer category. They have recently erected a new shed and has doubled his production. Alistair Mackay said: “We are delighted to receive this award.  As a family we have always put the health of our hens and the quality of our eggs as our uppermost priorities and it is fantastic to be given recognition for this”.  A&A Mackay consider the Egg Quality Competition “good value” and well worthwhile.

Lohmann GB and Hy-Line jointly sponsored the pre-dinner champagne reception with Elwyn Lewis of Hy-Line commenting: “It’s an excellent opportunity for the Scottish egg industry to get together and great to be a part of it.”