Image 1 above: Eileen Hall from Cavanagh Free Range Eggs and Phillip Rainey from Simple Power.
21st December 2017: Rural Support and wind energy company, Simple Power, are celebrating the success of their ‘Christmas Hamper Scheme’, which has helped over 100 farming and rural families this Christmas.
Now in its fifth year, the annual scheme has been a huge success with the large number of food and drink donations highlighting the immense generosity of participating local agri-businesses. This support has allowed the charity to continue to provide crucial support to farming communities during the festive period.
Rural Support’s Chief Executive, Jude McCann commented, “The prolonged wet weather has impacted Northern Ireland’s farming community severely, with many farm businesses now facing severe fodder shortages over the winter period. This combined with the recent snow and icy conditions also arriving at the beginning of the Christmas period, it has been a tough season for the farming community. The Christmas Hamper Scheme with Simple Power aims to relieve families’ burdens, particular around Christmas when there can be added pressure and stress.
"The response to the initiative over the last few years has been very positive, and we are delighted that the hampers have helped ease the burden facing many rural families this Christmas. We are incredibly grateful for the continuous support shown by the local business community, and to Simple Power for their on-going help in the co-ordination of the scheme."
Simple Power Chief Executive, Philip Rainey, added, "We are delighted to continue to support and coordinate the Christmas Hamper Scheme with Rural Support, and to see how it continues to help families in need during the festive period. Christmas can be a very special time for many, but it can also be a struggle for those in hardship, particularly within the rural community. We would like to thank all those who have helped deliver essential items to rural families at this time of year. With the support of the local producers the hampers have helped provide a little Christmas cheer, alongside Rural Support’s very beneficial support service."
This year's Christmas Hamper Scheme included generous donations from Karro Food Group, White’s Oats, Kestral Foods, Farmlay Eggs, Moy Park, Mash Direct, Tayto, Clandeboye Estate Yogurt, DJ’s Apple Juice, Ulster Farmers Union, Cavanagh Free Range Eggs, The Good Little Company, Gilfresh Produce, Fresh Fields NI, Punjuna Tea and Wilson’s Potatoes.
Rural Support helps farming and rural families across Northern Ireland on a wide range of issues from farm business and financial issues to concerns about physical and mental health. The charity provides support for the rural community through a helpline offering a listening and signposting service. If you do require assistance during the Christmas period or are experiencing a challenging time, you are encouraged to contact Rural Support as early as possible so that options can be explored.
For more information on Rural Support and their services visit: www.ruralsupport.org.uk or call 0845 606 7 607.
Poultry Farmer of the Year 2017: Cavanagh Free Range Eggs Ltd, Newtownbutler (sponsored by Moy Park)
We won a gold star in the Great Taste Awards in 2017!
We won Gold at the Blas na hEireann Irish Food Awards in September 2017!
Image above from left to right: Artie Clifford (Chairman Blas na hEireann / Irish Food Awards), Eileen Hall (Cavanagh Free Range Eggs) and Donagh Murphy (Protech).
Highly Commended - N.I. Year of Food and Drink Awards, February 2017
Highly Commended - NIFDA Awards, March 2017
Winner of N.I. Food Manufacturing Awards, April 2017
Highly Commended - Ulster Grocer Marketing Awards, May 2017
Winner of the 'Blas na hEireann' Irish Food Awards in Dingle, Co. Kerry - 1st October 2016
Visit to Cavanagh Farm by the current Minister for Agriculture, Michelle McIlveen on 6th October 2016.
Finalist in the Henderson Food Service 'Flavour of the North' Competiton 11th october 2016 along with Pop Notch, Corndale Farm, Lough Neagh EELS and winners Donnybrewer Farm
Eileen Hall pictured with Philip Rainey, Chief Excutive of Simple Power after donating 120 Packets of Eggs for the 3rd Year for the Rural Support Christmas Hamper Appeal in December 2016, for struffing Farming Families
Great Taste, the world’s most coveted blind-tasted food awards, which celebrates the very best in food and drink, has announced the Great Taste stars of 2016. Out of 10,000 products to be judged, Cavanagh Free Range Eggs was awarded a 2-star Great Taste award for its eggs.
Judged by over 500 of the most demanding palates, belonging to food critics, chefs, cooks, restaurateurs and producers as well as a whole host of food writers and journalists, Great Taste is widely acknowledged as the most respected food accreditation scheme for artisan and speciality food producers. As well as a badge of honour, the unmistakeable black and gold Great Taste label is a signpost to a wonderful tasting product, which has been discovered through hours and hours of blind-tasting by hundreds of judges.
Recognised as a stamp of excellence among consumers and retailers alike, Great Taste values taste above all else, with no regard for branding and packaging. Whether it is bread, honey, salami or cereal being judged, all products are removed from their wrapper, jar, box or bottle before being tasted. The judges then savour, confer and re-taste to decide which products are worthy of a 1-, 2- or 3-star award.
There were 10,000 Great Taste entries this year and of those products, 141 have been awarded a 3-star, 878 received a 2-star and 2,520 were awarded a 1-star accolade. The panel of judges included; TV chef and author, Valentine Warner, MasterChef judge and restaurant critic, Charles Campion, fifth generation baker, Tom Herbert from Hobbs House Bakery, and Great British Bake Off winner, Frances Quinn; food buyers from Harrods, Selfridges, Fortnum & Mason, Harvey Nichols and Waitrose and chefs including, James Golding, chef director of THE PIG Hotels, and Kevin Gratton, chef director of HIX Restaurants. These esteemed palates have together tasted and re-judged the 3-star winners to finally agree on the 2016
Top 50 Foods, the Golden Fork Trophy winners and the 2016 Supreme Champion. Great Taste 2016 will reach its exciting finale on Monday 5 September, when the world of fine food gathers at the Royal Garden Hotel in London to find out the Golden Fork winners for each region at an Awards Dinner, with the final applause reserved for the Great Taste Supreme Champion 2016.
Date: 2nd August, 2016
Won “Best Artisan/ Micro Food Producer” at the Inaugural “ Grow Make Eat Drink Awards “ at a black tie Event in the Ramada Plaza Hotel, Shaws Bridge, Belfast.
The awards were hosted by the Newsletter, Derry Journal and Morton Newspapers to acknowledge and honour Northern Irelands thriving industry of locally made food and drink products and services, giving them the opportunity to be recognised for the valuable contribution they make from their base in Northern Ireland to industry on the local, national and international stages.
Launched into Tesco, Northern Ireland in the following Stores:
Fermanagh-based Cavanagh Free Range Eggs has won its first major supermarket deal, which will see it supply its locally farmed free range eggs to Asda stores across Northern Ireland.
As a result of the new contract, all eggs sold in Asda’s 16 NI stores will be locally sourced. It will also help to build the Cavanagh Eggs brand and sustain jobs in the family-run business which currently produces 12 million free range eggs per year and employs seven people at its onsite packing centre outside Newtownbutler.
The deal was announced at this year’s Balmoral Show – the same venue where Eileen Hall from Cavanagh Eggs initially approached Asda to discuss supply opportunities. Cavanagh also took part in last year’s ‘Meet the Buyer’ event held in Asda’s Enniskillen store.
Since then the company has followed guidance provided by Asda’s local sourcing team, including achieving Lion Accreditation – the recognised quality and traceability guarantee.
Eileen is also currently part of Asda’s Supplier Development Academy which seeks to help local food producers boost their business potential with the retailer
Commenting on the contract Eileen said: “This is a major development for Cavanagh, marking a significant step forward for our small but very committed team.
“Over the last four years we’ve focused our efforts on building the brand and developing our product range to ensure we’re ideally positioned to supply major supermarkets. We know that contented hens produce the best quality, tasty eggs, and we’re delighted that Asda has also recognised this. We believe the move will also be appreciated by their NI customers.”
Brian Conway from Asda NI’s Local Sourcing Team added: “It’s great to see Cavanagh Free Range joining our growing list of local suppliers an another top quality, fresh product range taking pride of place on our shelves. This is yet another example of our commitment to NI Year of Food and it also shows how initiatives such as our Supplier Development Academy are delivering positive business results for local producers.”
As well as being the only egg company in Ireland to hold both the prestigious ‘Great Taste’ and the ‘Irish Food Quality’ awards, Cavanagh Eggs are used by chefs across Northern Ireland including those from The Lough Erne Resort and The Merchant Hotel."
A marketing success for award winning free range eggs
Cavanagh Free Range Eggs, the visionary concept of John and Eileen Hall, is pushing the boundaries of quality egg production and marketing throughout the British Isles. Ian Harvey paid a visit to their three year old branded free range egg business in south Fermanagh, bordering counties Monaghan and Cavan, to find a farming family totally committed to providing the best possible environment for their hens.
We took part in the Bank of Ireland Open Farm Weekend in June 2015 and again in June 2016, please have a look at some images of the event at our farm!
Please click here to watch our interview on Irish TV!
"A good golden yolk – well rounded with a firm, cleanwhite. A delicious flavour… creamy and deliciously natural." This quote is the feedback from the judges of the 2014 Great Taste Awards in which Cavanagh Free Range Eggs was awarded one gold star!
It is for this excellent quality and distinctive taste that Cavanagh Eggs has become renowned. Started in March 2002 by husband and wife team, John and Eileen Hall in the beautiful County Fermanagh countryside, they housed their first flock of hens and the business grew from there. By February 2011, their hen flock had grown significantly to 31,000 and also during that time they had produced their own flock of two sons – Brian and Aaron – who love helping around the farm.
The secret to the success of this family-run business is the caring and nurturing environment that this couple has created for their hens. "We firmly believe that contented hens lay great quality eggs. Our hens are all free to roam the countryside and we are dedicated to creating the best possible environment for them. Producing approximately 12 million eggs between them every year."
The Cavanagh Free Range brand officially launched in 2012; up until then, their eggs went to a local packing centre, but they set their own up to grade, pack, market and deliver their eggs locally to shops, hotels, restaurants and wholesalers throughout Ireland, England, Scotland and Wales.
You can be absolutely sure of the quality, freshness and safety of their eggs. They are not only tasty, but full of nutrition too, having a high protein content, with naturally occurring vitamins, minerals and trace elements (such as vitamins a, b, d, folic acid, iron and calcium). According to John Hall, the plan is to increase the number of hens in their flock from 31,000 to 43,000 by late spring because of the demand. It would seem that their happy eggs are golden eggs in more ways than one!
To read the rest of this article, please click here.
TBC December 2014: Cavanagh Eggs based in Newtownbutler, threw its weight behind Rural Support’s biggest ever ‘Christmas Hamper Scheme’ aimed at helping rural families in need, which aims to provide help for rural and farming families.
Cavanagh Eggs joined 16 other local agri-businesses, some of the biggest names in local business, to support the hamper appeal co-ordinated by wind energy company Simple Power. Its generous donation has helped to ensure that Rural Support can provide even more hard-hit families with hampers across Northern Ireland.
Rural Support’s Development Director, Jude McCann, said “I’m delighted with the support from Cavanagh Eggs and would like to sincerely thank them for their very kind donation. The efforts of Cavanagh Eggs, Simple Power, and other local businesses are much appreciated and have been instrumental in developing this scheme and enabling us to reach even more families this year. The support given is much needed and will make a great difference to a rural families in need this year.”
To read the rest of this article, please click here.
Cavanagh Free Range Eggs won a gold star in the 2014 Great Taste Awards.
We were also in the House of Commons with our eggs on July 2nd this year. Please see below photos of the event.
The green and yellow "Cavanagh Free Range Egg" packs are a common sight in local shops however their availability has spread far beyond the green fields of Fermanagh, into independent retailers, markets and restaurants throughout the UK and Ireland. The Hall's pride in the quality of their free range eggs is clear for all to see who visit the farm. Although the enterprise may be relatively small-scale in comparison to the size of many industrialised egg producers, the emphasis on high welfare standards and a quality product is really starting to produce dividends and make Cavanagh Free Range Eggs stand out from the crowd. John noted that "people like to know where their food is coming from and this gave us the confidence to focus on creating an artisan free range egg brand" In August 2014 Cavanagh Free Range Eggs were awarded a "Great Taste Gold Star Award". Great Taste is organised by the Guild of Fine Food and is the acknowledged benchmark for specialty food and drink.
As the egg market developed over the last number of years Eileen and John's confidence in the Cavanagh brand was clear to see as they constructed a purpose built packaging centre. The business was accredited by SALSA (Safe and Local Supplier Approval) in April this year. This involved rigorous audit checks to achieve this high standard. The new packaging centre has greatly improved the efficiency of their operation, freeing up more time to focus on other aspects of the enterprise. Recent expansion has also allowed the business to employ three full-time staff in addition to family members who are involved in the business. The couple's two young sons Brian and Aaron also have a keen interest in the hens and help out on holidays and at weekends.
In 2012 Eileen and John participated in CAFRE's Diversification Challenge, Business Development Course. Commenting on the course "it gave us the confidence to move the business forward and meeting other farm families experiencing similar issues in developing new businesses was invaluable. We also moved to a computerised book-keeping system which has significantly reduced the time spent, on what was previously a manual task. Something that often kept us up into the small hours of the morning". The business has also recently launched its new website www.cavanaghfreerangeeggs.co.uk to promote the brand. So, John and Eileen look forward to the continued development of their business and really appreciate the help and support that they have received from CAFRE's Rural Enterprise Team.
If you are interested in finding out more about farm diversification options and support available through CAFRE, please contact Eamon O’Harte CAFRE, Rural Enterprise Adviser. Tel 028 66343100 or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org