Laid With Love egg producers win global green award

Lakes team win awardOur egg producers at The Lakes Free Range Egg Company go global, winning International gold at the Green Awards   

We’re very proud of our egg producers!

David and Helen Brass from The Lakes Free Range Egg Company (The Lakes) were unable to fly to Dubai for the final of the International Green World Awards. News came via email this week to confirm they won.

The awards are part of an international campaign to find the greenest companies, councils and communities. The Lakes won the UK Green Apple Award last year, after competing against 500 other nominations for the Environmental Best Practice Award. They wen t forward to represent the UK in Europe which they won in June, this qualified them for the International event.

The International Green World Awards have become one of the most prestigious recognition campaigns for environmental best practice. Representing the UK, The Lakes won gold in the agriculture category, with other global winners coming from as far as Turkey, South Korea and India.

David Brass, Chief Executive at The Lakes Free Range Egg Company said, “This award was presented in recognition of our work on tree planting, our carbon neutral operations, ammonia reduction and combining significant environmental best practice in our food supply operation.”

From the outset the judging panel was struck by the way The Lakes makes agriculture a sustainable business proposition for small family farms. Feedback from the award organisers said, “The judges were particularly impressed by The Lakes achieving a carbon neutral first in the industry, as a result of using renewable energy and planting 600 acres of trees and shrubs.”

The Lakes is now a case study in The Green Handbook – the leading international work of reference on environmental best practice. The case study demonstrates that ‘developing a business with sustainable animal welfare and environmentally friendly free-range egg production does support disadvantaged rural economies’.  Others around the world can learn from The Lakes’ success and follow their example.

Reflecting on their achievement, David and Helen Brass said “It’s gratifying to hear that our focus on long term environmental sustainability encourages others. 2017 is our twentieth anniversary, so winning this award is a nice way to end the year.

“It celebrates our belief that excellence in animal welfare and strong environmental provenance go hand in hand. This ethos has benefitted our hens as well as our flora and fauna. Our producers adopt the same approach which is very much appreciated by our customers too. We’ve always felt our model is replicable across the globe and can make a difference. Through our business operations, we aim to leave the world a better place.”

The International Green World Awards began in 1994 and are organised by The Green Organisation, an international, independent, non-political, non-profit environment group dedicated to recognising, rewarding and promoting environmental best practice around the world.

To learn more about The Lakes Free Range Egg Company, visit www.lakesfreerange.co.uk


Students get to grips with egg technology

Keswick School pupils Ross Irving, Ellie Parkinson, Heather Harrison, Adam Price and Ben BrydenWe love to see young people getting to grips with new technology and learning about how it makes packing our eggs so much easier. Last week a group of A Level students from Keswick School visited the Lakes Free Range Egg Company (The Lakes). These lucky students from Keswick School had a very real lesson in technology at work.  It’s the fourth time the school has visited with A Level students studying Systems and Controls but this year, they extended the opportunity to those studying Product Design too.  learning on the job

The Lakes Free Range Egg Company has always encouraged young people to look at agriculture and food production as a future career, so this visit also represented an opportunity to demonstrate that the food industry has a breadth of careers to explore.

Managing Director Mark Gaskin introduced the company and gave an overview of the volumes of egg collected and despatched across the country each day. Mark also explained how the short lead times mean the factory is operational six days a week and discussed the operational challenges of meeting seasonal demand from hens that lay a consistent number of eggs.

Egg consumption has increased, with the UK population consuming over 16 billion eggs in 2015.* Explaining the growth in sales to the students, Mark said “year on year egg sales continue to rise which is good news for the industry. Eggs now feature strongly at breakfast time and people recognise their value as a premium protein food. Our job is to predict far enough ahead to have enough hens laying eggs at the right time. Eggs are popular all year round, but the spike in logistics comes in December – that’s when planning, systems and logistics really make a difference.”

Keen to see the factory in operation, the students and teachers donned their protective clothing and were taken for a tour by Mark and Factory Manager Maria Harris.  Students learned that each pallet delivered in from farms contains 8,640 eggs – and they only take only 5 minutes to grade by machine.

Spending time with students with a technical understanding was a treat for factory Engineer Anton PaHeather gets to see inside the machinerks who ran through the mechanical processes, lifting the lid on how the systems and controls worked.

Student Ellie Parkinson said “what impressed me most was the technology that detected a crack in an egg and monitored it the whole way through the process.” All the students agreed the scale of the operation was far greater than they expected.

Physics and Design Technology teacher Ms Orla O’Donnell said “an egg has the smartest packaging of all; it’s sterile, breathable, strong, protective and doesn’t need washing. The technology used at the Lakes Free Range Egg Company is also very leading edge and innovative. It’s not just the technology and robots in the factory; it goes through their whole process, from recycling rainwater to creating their own energy and becoming the first egg packing factory in the UK to become carbon neutral.

I’ve been visiting for four years and every time there’s a new initiative or innovation. Our students found it very enlightening and who knows, we may find one of them working in the food industry in the future.”

Anyone interested in finding out more about the innovative technologies used at the Lakes Free Range Egg Company can find out more by visiting their website www.lakesfreerange.co.uk

Anton parks demonstrating the rollers