Egg-cellent investment

04 Jul 2017 Country News insert, Shepparton VIC (General News) by Alana Christensen More than $600 000 has been invested in a new Euroa egg processing and distribution plant, with 10 full-time positions created as Kinross Farm aims to increase its processing and distribution capacity. Announced last week, $689 000 has been spent to create the companys second egg processing plant with roles in quality control, process workers and team leaders. The company, which operates across a number of locations in Victoria including Bendigo, Kinglake and Wycheproof, established its first free range farms in Euroa in 2004 and later refurbished an old building to create the processing plant and ultimately reduce costs. By having processing close to flocks you can reduce the breaking potential and keep it close to the source, general manager Philip Szepe said. (It) builds a competitive advantage. The company raises more than 350 000 hens within a 6 km radius of the plant, with eggs arriving at the processing plant tested for quality before being packaged and distributed. About 140 000 dozen eggs pass through the egg processing plant each week, with the entire business producing a total of six million eggs. Each egg is checked for breakages, dirt and other imperfections, with those unable to be packaged and sold in supermarkets then deshelled and sold to bakeries or other industries as liquid eggs. The company sells its eggs under the brand name Sunny Queen, as well as stocking major supermarkets including Coles, Woolworths and Aldi, McDonalds and food services businesses. With the constant price battle between supermarkets, Mr Szepe said it could be difficult to keep things competitive and deliver what the consumer wanted. Youve got to be cost competitive. Suppliers are cost focused in the end, he said. If youre not on a large scale youre not going to be cost competitive. The company sells solely free range eggs, a concious decision on its part, according to Mr Szepe. Its an easier system to promote and engage with the community about . . . approximately 35 per cent of egg intake is from free range eggs, he said. Weve staked our future on free range. We accept that to some extent were bypassing a sector of the market due to pricing. Each hen receives a minimum of 10 hours per day access to the outdoors, with stocking densities ranging from up to 1500 hens per hectare to the industry guidelines of up to 10 000 hens per hectare. Caption Text: Quality control . . . Quality assurance officer Alison Smith tests the breakage point of eggs to ensure they will arrive unbroken. Employment . . . A total of 10 new jobs have been created at the processing facility. Guided tour . . . State Member for Northern Victoria Jaclyn Symes was given a tour of the current facility by Kinross Farms general manager Philip Szepe. Egg-cellent production . . . More than 140 000 dozen eggs pass through the facility each week. Testing . . . The facility tests everything from shell strength to vibrancy of the egg yolk. Licensed by Copyright Agency. You may only copy or communicate this work with a licence.