The British Free Range Egg Producers Assocation (BFREPA) 26th Annual Conference and Exhibition, hosted and sponsored by ForFarmers, saw the highest attendance for 2 years. Over 530 delegates from Free Range Egg production and 62 businesses exhibited this year, reflecting the strength and success of the industry.
This year’s Conference was one of the most popular yet and Free Range Egg producers welcomed the date change, introduced to ensure producers were not increasing the risk of meeting during a time of year when Avian Influenza poses a great risk to the industry.
Each year, the BFREPA conference promises to spark conversation and debate as a variety of speakers take the stage, and this year was no different. The 26th Conference saw Dale Burnett, CEO of Noble Foods, Amanda Cryer from BEIC, Robert Gooch, CEO of BFREPA, Dr Steven Pace and Tom Heap, Journalist and Agriculture Correspondent each speaking around different topics which are very relevant to today’s Free Range industry.
The theme this year was “Strength in Adversity” reflecting the hard work undertaken by the industry when facing challenges. Several speakers reflected on the impact of the Salmonella crisis in 1988, something that had a dramatic effect on the Free Range Egg market. But due to the perseverance of the industry, the market continues to grow, with the Free Range Egg now being a staple food in the average household kitchen. Amanda Cryer took the conference through her work to ‘get eggs back on the menu’ which resulted in the value growth of the market increasing by 28%.
The Conference also hosted the annual BFREPA awards, sponsored by Elanco, with contributions by BBC’s Alan Dedicote and Tom Heap. The awards are very much the highlight of the Conference, where industry members are recognised for their achievements. After working in the industry for 55 years, Peter Humphrey was awarded the Lifetime Achievement award.
Peter talks with pride about his working life and the industry as a whole,
““We are constantly faced with changes; including volatility, technical innovations, new ways of working along with ever tightening legislation. There is certainly an element of ‘we are all in it together’ and I have a huge amount of respect and admiration for poultry farmers in the UK.”
John Cessford, previously of ForFarmers and the company itself was awarded a Special Recognition award for the 10 years of continued work and support of BFREPA to deliver what is now the largest conference for egg producers in the UK.
Tom Welham, ForFarmers Marketing Manager commented on the importance of the BFREPA Annual Conference to ForFarmers,
"The conference, which ForFarmers proudly sponsor and host, is a great opportunity for the company to demonstrate its leading role in supporting Free Range Egg producers and demonstrate the companies continued focus to support and work in partnership with producers and their associations.”
Picture: Andrew Burley, ForFarmers Poultry Sales Director