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Rural Law meets…

Our client Richard Geldard director of Geldard Farm Eggs Ltd, Levens examines the British egg market.

What is your view on the British egg farming market now compared to ten years ago?
“Very positive: The British egg industry is in a positive place. The British Egg Industry Council (BEIC) has worked hard to develop a Code of Practice which underpins the British Lion egg quality trademark that is second to none and has become one of the most well-recognised food quality marks in the UK.

“It gives the industry a credible point of difference from eggs produced in other EU countries – so much so that consumers expect to see Lion branded eggs in front of them when food shopping.

“The national flock of laying hens has increased from 30 million to 38 million birds over the last 10 years with egg consumption rising from around 180 eggs per person per annum to over 195 eggs per person.”

What, in your view, will the break from the EU bring – more chances to trade, more opportunity generally or will there be a negative effect?
“Positive aspects first: in the short term, there’s been a positive benefit from the exchange rate difference since the vote to leave, it has become more expensive for UK food wholesalers and manufacturers to source eggs from the continent.

“As a result, there has been an uplift in the commercial value of UK produced eggs. However, we need to be mindful that an independent UK could find itself negotiating trade deals that are at the expense of the food  production industry.

“For instance, if politicians want to achieve export opportunities for other industries when negotiating trade deals, allowing tariff-free food imports to the UK may be offered in return, and seen by our politicians as a successful way of curbing food inflation in the UK.”

What is the secret to successfully running a farming, family business?
“First, communication in the family Richard Geldard examines the British egg farming market and the wider team generally. Secondly, having very clear objectives set down; and finally, a general understanding of the direction of the business.”

If you could go back in time, which era would you revert to as a farming family and why?
“We’d prefer to look forward as a farming family: try not to spend too much time looking back.

“It’s good to look back and appreciate where we have come from and what’s been achieved but only when planning where we go next.”