FAIRBURN’S EGGS is launching a ‘bed and breakfast’ egg contract that replicates a model often used in the pig sector.

The firm said the new scheme would offer farmers a “guaranteed return on their investment”.

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Farmers will receive a pre-agreed amount per bird weekly for each flock covering birds housed from 16-76 weeks, with a performance-related bonus also available.

They must adhere to agreed biosecurity standards including the Lion Code, RSPCA and APHA standards.

Fairburn’s Eggs will provide the pullets, feed and vet fees but will take income from eggs and spent hens.

As in the pig sector, fallen stock is paid by Fairburn’s. The firm said avian influenza insurance would be a matter for discussion with individual farmers.

Producers will be responsible for labour, water, repairs, building insurance, clean-downs, bird removal and pest control.

Manure management

They will also be responsible for manure management and can retain any income derived from it.

If a producer wants to leave the scheme for any reason, they have to give a full flock’s notice to terminate the arrangement.

Daniel Fairburn, Fairburn’s Eggs chief executive, said: “We know as farmers ourselves that our industry is going through a very tough time, so we felt this was the right way to provide reassurance for producers.

Removing risk

“We pledge to pay loyal producers a fair fee for looking after birds to our welfare standards, taking away as many risks as we can of rising costs and insecurities in the market.

“A similar model has worked well in the pig sector, and we have developed ours bespoke for egg producers.

“We are confident it will provide a much-needed boost for the industry at a time when it needs it most.

“The demand is there for eggs and the aim of this new initiative is to take the jeopardy out of the process.”

Farmers interested in the scheme should get in touch with John Holt, national production manager at Fairburn’s Eggs, by email: john@fairburnseggs.co.uk.