Leicestershire brothers, Richard and Andy Higgins, have been named free range egg producer of the year at the British Free Range Egg Producers Association (BFREPA) annual awards event in Birmingham today.
Located at Bitteswell Farms in Lutterworth, they have been producing fresh farm eggs since 1986, carrying on the family business established in 1956 by their parents.
The pair (pictured above) impressed BFREPA’s judges with their “strategic, innovative and forward-thinking performance” for which they took home the title in the over 16,000 birds category.
Having developed their free range egg business into one of the largest independent free range egg producers in the Midlands, Richard and Andy’s flock of 120,000 birds gives them an output in excess of 1,500 thirty-dozen cases a week, produced across three farms, all within four miles of Bitteswell.
“The Higgins family has deliberately followed a strategy of managing and keeping control of the entire egg production process,” said BFREPA judge and free range egg producer, Trevor Sellers.
“We were impressed not only by the excellent performance of the farms, but also by the attention to detail found within the business. Richard and Andy’s ability to contain costs and be super-efficient really stood out. By controlling the whole production process, the business is in a good position to adapt and adjust to the ups and downs of the market.”
The brothers rear their own chicks to point of lay and mill their own feed using locally grown grains. They also produce and market their own brand ‘Bitteswell Browns’ into major supermarkets, other retailers and caterers across the Midlands, and supply ungraded eggs to major packers.
“We are delighted to receive this award on behalf of our families, and all the hard working staff at Bitteswell Farms,” said Andy. “This is recognition of our core values of being in control of the whole process, from day old chicks through to poultry feed production and dedicated free range egg packing, ensuring we produce high quality free range eggs while having a minimal environmental impact.”