LJ fairburn Poultry

The Business

INNOVATION – INVESTMENT – SUSTAINABILITY

THE FAMILY MOTTO IS

“Feed the chickens before you feed yourself!”

Led by old fashioned family values, upholding a belief in integrity and loyalty, the business is far from antiquated. Investment in innovative technology and state of the art buildings help stream line this modern business and future-proof it too. Welfare is at the top of the agenda, for birds and staff – all of which tend to be thought of as part of the extended Fairburn family.

In 2022, Fairburn's unveiled new-look packing centre and warehouse significantly expanding capacity thanks to advanced technology, and has announced exciting plans for further innovation in the future. 

Fairburn's added a £6.5 million 2400m sq extension to its Burgh le Marsh site, which increased capacity by 50%. Investing in cutting edge robotics has improved efficiency and biosecurity, now packing 14 million eggs per week for distribution to major retailers across the UK.

Not only does Fairburn’s Eggs now have the capacity to grade 382,000 eggs per hour, 2% more Grade A eggs are being achieved and plastic consumption will be reduced by over 12 tonnes a year.

Tray washing is now done on site in a specialist facility, resulting in a faster turnaround back to producer and five new loading bays have been built, taking the total to 8.

The packing centre is accredited to BRC Grade A standards, the Lion Code of Practice, RSPCA Assured, the Organic Food Federation and the Organic Farmers and Growers Association.

 

REARING

The chicken vs egg conundrum might continue to confound, but for Fairburn's it is always the chicken that comes first, and attention to detail at every stage.

Fairburn's now rear in access of 1.5 million pullets every year, both for their own use and for partner producers. 

This is a key part of the process, giving Fairburn chicks the best start in life, as when they turn into pullets (laying hens) at approximately 16-18 weeks of age, only the best reared chicks live to be strong and efficient laying hens.

At Fairburn's, we rear several breeds of hens that produce a variety of eggs. They are all stringently checked by their experienced rearing team, as well as being assessed by the British Lion Code and the RSPCA Assured to ensure the highest standards of hygiene and bird welfare.

As award winning producers ourselves we know a thing or two about rearing healthy, happy and productive laying hens, and have pullet customers dating back years who have achieved exceptional results too.

 

MILLING

As Fairburn's are poultry farmers themselves, they know how important nutritious, high quality feed is for the health of a flock. That is why they have been producing our own feed for over 40 years, growing the grain on Fairburn's family farms.

As a key part of maintaining their truly vertically integrated business, the feed 'journey' starts on Fairburn's 2,000 acre arable farm where they grow a range of crops including milling wheat and barely. Based in Lincolnshire, the heart of UK agriculture and the country's main grain belt, means they have access to the best raw materials and aim to source as locally as possible.

Once harvested, it is processed by their specialist milling centre which boasts four mixing lines allowing Fairburn's to create a fully bespoke feed ration to their customers, including organic. Fairburn's grain haulage fleet can then deliver feed across the UK, ensuring safe, efficient and timely delivery. 

Fairburn's can offer expert nutritional advice and develop bespoke specialist diets, with additional supplements if required, including:

Vitamin-enriched
Golden yolk
Corn-fed
All grain

 

 

LAYING

Fairburn’s raise all their own laying hens from day old chicks. A great deal of time is taken to identify the best breeds. Working closely with breeding companies, the family discuss innovations in genetics. Improving the life span of each hen, increasing laying efficiencies, and the quality of the eggs, are all important. The right breed also enhances consumer choice with the ability to produce a wide range of different eggs.

The hens go into their laying houses at 16 weeks of age and lay eggs 365 days a year. Unusually, Fairburn’s actually own and produce, as well as pack, 50% of the eggs they sell. This puts them in the unique position of being able to take control of every production and distribution process from day old chick to the family fridge. They are also in partnership with local farmers who complement their own production.

All eggs produced by the hens are Lion accredited. The British Lion Quality mark on egg shells and egg boxes means that the eggs have been produced to the highest standards of food safety.

The British Lion Quality Code of Practice was launched in 1998 and includes compulsory vaccination against Salmonella Enteritidis of all pullets destined for Lion egg-producing flocks. British Lion also participates in independent auditing, improved traceability of eggs, and a “best-before” date stamped on the shell and pack, as well as on-farm and packing station hygiene controls.

Fairburn’s Free Range, Organic, and Barn eggs are from RSPCA Assured accredited farms, this means they are fully-traceable from shop shelf to farm – not only do they check all the details when a product is labelled but they employ independent auditors to check randomly selected RSPCA Assured supply chains too. This ensures all codes of welfare practice are being fully carried out on all RSPCA Assured approved farms and secures a healthy and sustainable food supply chain.