Poultry farmer Chris Dickinson, who is a director of Wot-a Hen, has launched a new consultancy business for land owners and farmers looking to enter the free range egg industry.
Dickinson said many farmers were interested in setting up an egg business due to the expansion needed in order to meet supermarkets’ commitments to stop selling eggs from caged hens before 2025.
Hatching Plans offers advice to those interested in entering the market, including initial feasibility and design through to funding support, operational development, and quality suppliers. The consultancy also helps producers secure long-term egg contracts to provide guaranteed revenue stream.
The business was launched last year. Dickinson said he had had interest from dairy farmers, who have had low returns in recent years, and from family farming businesses where a son or daughter wants to enter the business and manage their own operation.
“Agricultural banks are very willing to lend on free range poultry because it has a proven track record of paying back,” said Dickinson, a third generation farmer from Cumbria and former national poultry advisor at the NFU.