Egg facility to create jobs

05 Jul 2017 Euroa Gazette, Euroa VIC (General News) by Will Murray KINROSS Farm, the egg producers which operate a number of farms in and around Euroa, is establishing a new $689,000 egg grading facility in the town with the support of the state government. With the funding, Kinross Farm has refurbished an existing building and established a new egg grading plant and equipment, which has increased capacity and generated new distribution and supply chain networks to service the Euroa facility. The company already operates a sorting and packaging facility in Euroa, which employs around 40 people from the local area. The establishment of the egg grading centre will employ a further 10 locals full time, and expand the companys distribution capacity, enabling it to keep up with growing demand for its eggs. The new jobs included roles such as quality controllers, process workers and team leaders, as well as in the coordination and transport of eggs between the companys Euroa and Kinglake West facilities. Since 2004 Kinross Farm has graded, processed and packaged whole eggs for distribution to small retailers and major supermarket chains as well as produced liquid eggs in a variety of forms for the food service industry in Euroa. The company also provides around 50 million eggs to CSL in Melbourne for use in developing vaccines. While based in Kinglake, the company has a sizeable portion of their business in the Euroa area, and general manager Philip Szepe estimates the company run around 350,000 hens within a six kilometre radius of the town. Mr Szepe said the demand for eggs has increased substantially in recent years, and the new facility would enable the business to cater for this demand into the future. For a long time there was debate about the cholesterol content of eggs, he said. Now the experts are telling us that in fact an egg a day is ok, which is driving up the demand for our product. Breakfast is the fastest growing meal segment, according to Mr Szepe, and an increasingly time poor population are increasingly looking for quick and easy meal options. People now go and meet for breakfast or brunch. Twenty years ago this wasnt the case. Fast food outlets and restaurants now offer all day breakfast to cater with the demand, Mr Szepe told the Gazette. One poll recently conducted showed that 40 per cent of Australian households have a groceries budget of $150 or less to spend on groceries per week. Thats not much if youre catering for you and your kids, and so eggs become an attractive option as a cheaper and easier to cook source of protein instead of red or white meat. Mr Szepe also believes that the rise of cooking shows, which use eggs in almost all their recipes, has contributed to the growth in popularity of the humble egg. The increase in demand has meant Kinross is starting to sell an increasing number of 18-pack egg cartons, which now make up 25 per cent of total sales. Kinross Farm is one of only a few large-scale free range farm operators left in Victoria. The greatest challenge in todays market is keeping up with the expectations of the local community, Mr Szepe explained. Today when people buy any produce they expect it to look perfect and comply with very high standards of quality. That means that all our eggs have to satisfy a number of controls to end up in the carton on the supermarket shelf. The establishment of the grading facility in the town is important because the smaller the distance to travel, the danger of breakage is lessened. Mr Szepe also said they were attracted to Euroa by the support of the local council, and the access to power, gas, water and sewerage at the processing centre and on-farm. This is really important to the running of our business, which uses a lot of water and power especially. Having a reliable source of both was a significant motivator in setting up here. Caption Text: QUALITY CONTROLS: Jaclyn Symes (MLC, Northern Victoria) was shown some of the rigorous testing that the eggs undergo before they are approved for sale. Licensed by Copyright Agency. You may only copy or communicate this work with a licence.