Peter Humphrey, of Humphrey Farms, has been presented with the 2017 Lifetime Achievement Award by BFREPA (British Free Range Egg Producers Association). The award is given annually to a person who has made long-lasting and substantial contributions to the industry.
Accepting his award, Peter shared his thoughts about the progression of the UK free range industry:
“I have seen so much change since I started in the industry in 1962.
- Enormous improvement in veterinary husbandry; overcoming Newcastle disease, mareks disease and salmonella with advances in vaccinations.
- Progress by breeders; in 1967 my records showed a 60 week old flock with 190 eggs, now flocks reach 100 weeks with 330 eggs
- Progress in marketing through the British Egg Marketing Board, Eggs Authority and British Egg Industry Council have transformed perceptions and debunked myths to transform eggs into a superfood.
Free range has gone from strength to strength and there is plenty more to do before 2025. AI is a huge challenge and we look to pharmaceutical giants to protect flocks through the creation of a vaccination. The wider challenge is to increase the self-sufficiency of eggs which has remained static at 85% over the last decade.
My advice to the industry is simple. Free range is in a strong position but do not overproduce. Maintain the highest standards of stockmanship, production and marketing. Support the Lion Code. Maintain your independence of decision making of your four key inputs: breed, pullets, feed and how you market your eggs.
Thank you for this recognition, which I am proud to share with our colleagues, some of whom have been with us for 40 years and have made it possible for our family business to thrive.
And finally - an egg a day is not enough. I eat two every morning!”
In 1932, John Humphrey – Peter’s father - founded Humphrey Farms for the sole purpose of egg production, and began rearing his own birds and manufacturing his own feed.
In 1961, Peter and his brother David Humphrey took over the reins. They initially upgraded the existing feed mill on the Twyford site before in 1984 commissioning a completely new, then ‘state of the art’ mill, to enable further expansion.
Whilst egg production continued, the increasing consumer demand for free range eggs (now 50% of the UK market) meant a significant investment in both land and infrastructure, in order to remain competitive.
The Directors therefore decided to continue to diversify the business resulting in the opening of the Hazeley Enterprise Park in 2006 on the site of the old laying sheds. The Humphrey Pullets business has also been expanded and we are very pleased to have been able to re-deploy several members of staff from the Kingsworthy and Chichester sites into our Pullets division.
Image attached: Peter Humphrey receives the BREPA Lifetime Achievement Award 2017 from Countryfile presenter and journalist Tom Heap.
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