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Published on Aug. 26, 2020

The Egg Academy – encouraging new blood into the egg sector

With egg consumption rocketing, but a lack of workers in the egg sector, a collaboration of companies across the egg-laying industry are launching a course to attract new blood.

(story by Farmers Guardian).

Poached, fried, scrambled – it seems the UK’s consumers just cannot get enough of eggs.

In fact, Brits bought 6.6 billion of them last year, according to data consultancy Kantar, which was 50 per cent more than in 2008. Millennials are driving the boom, fuelled by an appetite for healthy, protein-rich foods which are versatile and affordable.

And home-grown eggs are the favourite, with 68 per cent of consumers saying they believe British eggs are safer and higher quality than imports, according to research commissioned by Harris Interactive and The Grocer.

Despite this bright future, the egg sector is facing a deficit in young workers and, to combat this, Morrisons’ integrated egg production and packing company, Chippindale Foods, is teaming up with Bishop Burton College to launch the first British Egg Academy. Full details are available here.

An industry collaboration

Twenty-eight other companies and organisations across the egg-laying industry, including Joice and Hill, are part of the collaboration and will provide practical, on-site visits and teaching.

The course, a level 2 diploma in agriculture, will begin in January 2021, and includes visits to farms, a hatchery, feed mill, packing centre, retail and vets.

Industry organisations will teach topics such as welfare, building design, breeding, record-keeping, nutrition, policy and technology.

Students visiting the Chippindale Food site will see the whole operation from eggs arriving to grading, marketing, packing and logistics.

Giving students a taste of the specialisms involved

Richard Pearson, head of agriculture at Chippindale Foods, which works with 55 free-range farmers across northern England, grading and packing nine million eggs a week, says: “We’re growing rapidly, but there aren’t enough workers in the system.

“Young people can join an industry with huge expansion and benefit from rapid career progression and varied opportunities, as well as feeding the nation with a product that is very ‘in vogue’.

“It’s a great place to forge a career and it is a very supportive industry.” Roles in the sector are wide-ranging, from on-farm computer engineers to construction, scientists and breeders, to nutritionists, vets, marketeers and retail buyers.

A cracking opportunity

Andy Black, assistant principal business development at Bishop Burton College, says: “Across agriculture there is a lack of understanding about the potential it holds and progression opportunities within it.

“By working with industry, we can show the many branches of the egg sector and give students a taste of the specialisms involved.

Hopefully it will switch a light on for some.

It’s a cracking opportunity and a unique course.” Morrisons will encourage companies to have career conversations with students and inform them of opportunities available after the course.

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