Local independent retailers have always been at the very heart of the community and this article about Deveron Valley Eggs is part of special series called Around Aberdeenshire to showcase the local producers livening up our towns and our taste-buds.
Enter Joan Stirling from Deveron Valley Eggs, she’s their Sales and Marketing Co-ordinator and is a regular stall holder at Ellon’s Farmers Market. Here she explains more about their business, launching their own brand and what they’re looking forward to for the future.
Duncan Farms Ltd and their egg brand Deveron Valley Eggs is a division of AJ Duncan which was first established in 1993 by Fred Duncan and focused on arable production such as wheat, barley and other grains.
The company has gone from strength to strength, now owning over 11,500 acres of land of which 6,004 acres, (an area the same size as 4611 Aberdeen FC sized football pitches) is used for arable crops.
Their fields can be found speckled around Aberdeenshire as far north as Banff and as low as Banchory, with most of it lying in between Ellon and Turriff.
In January of 2011 the farm diversified into egg production, supplying major retailers Tesco, Asda and others with fresh British Lion quality approved eggs, through a partnership agreement with Noble Foods.
More recently they have started to market and sell their eggs under their own brand Deveron Valley Eggs.
“Having our own brand enables us to stand out and show the customer exactly where their eggs are coming from.”
It’s obvious Joan is very proud of the high quality eggs they produce, and she has good reason to be. They have a very enviably efficient process; rearing their own young chickens, feeding them on homemade grains produced by AJ Duncan, and using the chicken manure created to fertilise their fields for further grain production.
The quality control doesn’t stop there though. Once the eggs have been laid they are brought into their state of the art grading centre, where they are passed through machines that perform tasks to ensure a high quality from tapping the eggs in 8 different areas to passing UV light through them before being stamped with the British Lion seal of approval and separated into cases.
Tip: keep the eggs point down, it helps keeps them fresh for longer.
Building a strong brand is all about sharing your values with potential customers and that takes time. But Deveron Valley Eggs have made a great start by supporting the community; sponsoring Turriff United’s Youth football team, providing local restaurants with eggs and taking part in the Ellon Farmers Market.
Joan tells us she’s especially looking forward to the future of Deveron Valley Eggs.
‘We’re now investing in new equipment to allow our free range eggs to be graded and packaged under our own brand too.’
As you can see from the data above, free range is increasing in popularity in the UK, and understandably where Deveron Valley Eggs is looking to become more established. Their plans are to increase their free-range flock from 32,000 to 96,000 to produce an estimated 600,000 eggs a year.
You can find out more about Deveron Valley Eggs from their website or at their stall at Ellon’s Farmers Market (4th Saturday of every month).
Local independent retailers have always been at the very heart of the community and these articles make up a special series called Around Aberdeenshire to showcase the local producers livening up our towns and our taste-buds.
Also published on Medium.
Categories: Around Aberdeenshire
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