ST EWE FREE RANGE EGGS has hosted HRH The Princess Royal, who toured the firm’s new egg grading and packing centre.

The new 50,000 sq ft facility officially opened by the princess in early October. It has allowed the firm to scale up to packing 2-3m eggs a week, with potential for further expansion.

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St Ewe has also grown its processing capacity, a move which it says has generated more local employment opportunities.

The Tonks Family diversified into poultry in 1982 and founded St Ewe Free Range Eggs in 2007 when they began packing free-range eggs for supermarkets under their own brand.

The company successfully applied for a £731,000 grant towards the new packing centre’s capital costs under Defra’s RDPE Growth Programme.

British family business

The new site is close to the original family farm where eggs were previously packed but has far better transport links.

On 4 October, HRH The Princess Royal was invited to unveil a plaque to commemorate the opening of the new grading and packing centre and was presented with a Cornish hamper by the seven-year-old daughter of chief executive Lucia Tonks.

Bex Tonks, CEO of St Ewe Free Range Eggs, said: “We are honoured to have had HRH The Princess Royal officially open our packing centre, and hope that it will demonstrate how our British family business supports other family farms around the UK.

“If it wasn’t for their dedication to farming and the hard work of our whole team, St. Ewe Free Range Eggs wouldn’t be where they are today.

“I speak on behalf of the whole St. Ewe family when I say that it marked a huge moment for us as we reflect, with huge pride, on our combined achievements over the past 41 years.”