Egg Packer of the Year

Farmlay Eggs

Farmlay Eggs, Fraserburgh, Aberdeenshire

We are very proud to have won it,” said Robert Chapman of Farmlay Eggs. “It is a great accolade for the whole team at Farmlay who have all worked incredibly hard for the last eight months through COVID-19. They have all done well and this is a nice boost.”

Farmlay Eggs is a well-run, dynamic family business that has embraced the use of automation to help drive forward continuing expansion. The low level of staff turnover is a real indication of the value placed on individuals, many of whom have risen through the business to managerial level. The business has been producing, packing and distributing fresh Scottish eggs since 1946. It is owned and run by husbandand-wife team Robert and Ethel Chapman along with their son Iain, who is the third generation to be involved in the business.

The business has 45 employees, 80% of whom are local and the rest Eastern Europeans. With its farmer partners, Farmlay Eggs produces and packs 4-4.5 million eggs per week and is the second largest packer in Scotland. 

The business has a consistent record of investment, which impressed the judges. In June 2019, the business installed a new MOBA Omnia 530PX egg grading machine with two existing MR30 robots and a new MR12. It also has an innovative in-line tray washer, which ensures every tray, divider and pallet is washed.

Over the last three years Farmlay has invested approximately £3.5m in the packing centre, including a new temperature controlled building and replacing the in-line egg collection system with a MOBA MR150 farm packer and MR40 robot to build the pallets. This increased the egg grader efficiency and gave more flexibility to pack to customers’ order requirements.

New staff facilities were built, with a new staff room, changing rooms, toilets and shower provided.

Phase two was the installation of the new MOBA Omnia 530PX egg grading machine along with the relocation of the two MR30s and the installation of a new MR12 along with the tray washers.

Farmlay has good communication with its producers, using the Ovotrack system to produce weekly reports. It has developed good relationships with its retailer customers; ensuring that all deliveries are made on time and correct as per the order is vital. The business has also invested in renewable energy, with five biomass boilers that heat the rearing sheds, packing centre, and grain dryer, plus an 800kW wind turbine which supplies the main farm, packing centre, colony cage henhouses and three dwelling houses with electricity, as well as two solar installations.

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