And it all began on just £150 ... Alford egg firm becomes largest in its field in the country

The Fairburn family.
The Fairburn family.

A family business in Alford – started on a £150 investment – has now become the largest independent egg producer and packer in the country.

LJ Fairburn is currently supplying 17 million British Lion-approved eggs each week to seven leading retailers and its growth looks set to continue.

The third-generation family operation plays a major economic role in Lincolnshire, employing 250 local staff, purchasing 42,000 tonnes of feed from farmers in the county last year, as well as eggs from 22 local producers.

Just five years ago, Fairburn’s took the decision to switch from being a contract producer for a large brand to setting up on its own.

Since then it has invested heavily in state-of-the-art equipment, land and livestock, and signed contracts with many of the UK’s major multiples, plus launched its own award-winning speciality products and has actively built its own network of farming producers.

Managing director Daniel Fairburn said: “Fairburn’s has been on an incredible journey over the last five years. We’ve been determined to push the boundaries and innovate, while still retaining our focus on family values, and we’re thrilled that our customers and producers have backed us all the way.

“We felt it was important to take a holistic approach to how we did business, taking care of every part of the food chain. To become the largest independent producer in a matter of years makes our whole family incredibly proud.”

Achievements in the last 12 months include being named Family Farming Business of the Year in the British Farming Awards.

To reflect the firm’s growth and success it has now unveiled a new-look corporate identity with new website (at www.fairburnseggs.co.uk), branding and logo – all with a nod to its British farming heritage.

LJ Fairburn was set up in 1951 by Leslie James Fairburn with just 150 chickens bought for £150. Today, is is run by Leslie’s grandson Daniel, alongside granddaughters Sarah and Caroline, and Daniel’s wife Sarah-Louise.

Looking to the future, Sarah-Louise, brand and sales director, said: “We’ll be looking at how we can launch even more delicious, innovative new products that consumers love.

“We benefit from being able to control the whole process ourselves, from the type of grain grown, how the feeds are mixed, breeding our own hens to developing our own product packaging and we are completely focused on creating a sustainable and attractive business that our children can one day take over.”