Following a few years’ hiatus, Vencomatic UK returned to the British Free Range Egg Producers Association annual conference at the Birmingham Hilton Metropole this week.
The conference welcomed free range egg producers from all over the UK, to peruse a wide variety of trade stands, and listen to interesting talks by industry experts. Robert Gooch, BFREPA’s CEO, opened the conference, encouraging producers to ensure that they, and the industry is ‘fit for the future’ – ready for change and prepared to accept new ways of working, improved technology, and ground-breaking concepts. Tesco’s Agricultural Manager (Poultry Eggs and Feed) John Kirkpatrick addressed the conference with updates on the company’s commitment to its’ price driven customers – to supply a value egg range from barn production. James Wright from exciting start-up venture, Multibox, advocated for the use of insect protein in poultry feed, and explained how this new protein source could revolutionise the feed industry. David Speller explained how correctly analysing data and utilising ground-breaking technology, such as that provided by his company for broilers – Optifarm, can maximise efficiency and drive profits in a proactive, rather than reactive way and Oliver Blurring from analysts Kantar gave an oversight into the industry’s contracts, markets, and retail trends. There was also the opportunity for delegates to pose questions to a panel consisting of Karen Campbell from Glenrath Farms, Rob Hofman from Morrisons and vet Ian Jones.
Several awards were presented in various categories, both at the pre-conference dinner the evening before and during the conference itself. Vencomatic customer Ben Edkins won producer of the year in the under 16,000 hens category. The judges admired Ben’s fantastic attention to detail, innovative husbandry practices and ability to drive efficiency, all of which puts his business in a good position ‘to adapt and adjust to the fluctuations of the market’. Another of our fantastic producers, Clayewater Farms (Webber family) was awarded the prize for Egg Quality. Vencomatic was nominated in the ‘Breakthrough of the Year’ category for the Miteperch, losing out to Pankaj Pancholi of JustEgg who wowed judges with his innovative ready prepared poached egg.
There was success however, as Vencomatic were delighted to receive the award for best trade stand at the conference. Marketing Exec and Graphic Designer Lizzie was responsible for the stand design, adding a touch of fun with a cyclone game competition where entrants stood in a small booth, trying to catch ‘eggs’ which were whizzing around their heads. The game was designed to promote the GreenEggWay – a series of electronic eggs which register impacts along the journey from nest to packer, allowing a reduction in cracked and second-grade eggs.
Vencomatic’s CEO, Gordon Alexander said “I am really proud of my Marketing team - I told them I wanted to win best trade stand at the BFREPA conference, and they delivered this original design with a really fun cyclone game. There has been a fantastic turnout for the conference and our stand has been really busy all day.”
Our congratulations to Lizzie and the Marketing team on this fabulous success – time to make some space in the trophy cabinet!