From Nigel Byfield
Given the proclivity in Hebden for sourcing local produce, and the stated desire by some for it to become a 'transition town', I wondered if anyone else was aware that a certain local company providing 'free-range' eggs to many of our local shops was alleged to be importing them from Poland?
Personally, I had put these rumours down to tittle-tattle, until on driving along Long Causeway one morning this week I saw two company vans, in their trademark green, parked in load-up position next to a juggernaut emblazoned with the name Cosco, which, on further research is revealed to be a poultry exporter from, you've guessed it, Poland.
Should I be bothered about this? I don't have an egg carton on hand to determine exactly how local our egg providers claim to be, but interestingly enough their website states that their provision "distances us from some of the large free range production units". Distance might well be the operative word in this case.
From Andrew B
"We have a number of different varieties of hens at ***** *** **** which are free to range during the daylight hours. We like to refer to the eggs that they produce as traditional farm yard eggs. This distances us from some of the large free range production units which so mass produced that benefits of ‘free range’ have just about been eliminated."
according to their website
From Martin G
Can we have a response from the farm in question?
When I buy free-range eggs and see the name of a farm on the box, I expect that farm to have produced the eggs themselves.
In future I will be avoiding eggs marked as having ‘been supplied’ by that particular farm.
From Knowl End Farm Ltd
From Knowl End Farm to Nigel Byfield further to your message dated 23 March 2009 I would like to take this opportunity to reply to some of the comments you raised.
Knowl End Farm has never imported any eggs, be it Free Range or otherwise from Poland. Therefore you were quite right to put these rumours down to tittle tattle. Whilst you were driving along the long causeway and you saw a vehicle "emblazen with the name COSCO" - what you actually saw was a container which belonged to the China Ocean Shipping COmpany delivering Egg Boxes.
I don't what source of research material you have been looking at, because my investigation through the DEFRA website which has a link to all the European egg producers for traceability purposes, does not show any Polish companies with a name anything like COSCO. When I have managed to ascertain the exact amount of Polish egg imported into England so far this year I will forward you this information.
Replying to comments raise in Andrew's Message Knowl End Farm is having to re-structure it's operation due to change in European legislation which is designed to protect the buying public and the consequence and the out come of bird flu and it is DEFRA recommendation that site packing eggs don't produce eggs.
In order to comply with current rules Knowl End Farm is winding down producing eggs and concentrating on packing and providing local producers with a packing, marketing and distribution services.
With reference to the Knowl End Farm eggs - does this mean that Bernard Matthews personally produces all his turkeys, George Foreman manufactures all his grilling machine????
Knowl End Farm is a small local company with a farming background employing local people to collect, grade, pack and distributed locally produced eggs, we are very strong believers in spending money as near to home as is possible, as money spent with the company is local money. We are passionate believers in reducing food miles which contributes considerably to CO2 emissions and if anyone is aware of any egg box manufactures within the UK that can supply us with our needs we will be more thn happy to talk to them.
If any of your readers wish to visit the operation on the farm they are more than welcome.
From Sarah McDade
If Knowle End Farm were to provide the names of the free range egg producers from Lancashire & Yorkshire who supply these large numbers of free range eggs we see locally under their label, this could easily be verified by said suppliers.
I too would like to have clarified the sourcing of these eggs.