Free range eggs – the real deal

free range eggs

Hens are genuinely free range at Fowler’s egg farm near Sidbury

Fowler’s Free Range Eggs has been a feature of Honiton street market for 13 years. Its smart vintage sales wagon occupies a pitch between WH Smith and St Paul’s Church.

The business was established 16 years ago and is run by Honitonian Tony Fowler and his wife, Helen. It delivers free range eggs to customers across East Devon.

Located at Putts Corner, near Sidbury, the business has always strived to put animal welfare and quality first.

This is a place where chickens really do roam free – not just for cameras but every day.

Keeping an egg farm running in the current climate is challenging. Like many other small to medium producers, Fowler’s Free Range Eggs looks to sell direct to customers to make money. Selling to big brands isn’t paying – and at a time when costs are going up.

“The wholesale price we get for eggs now is less than 10 years ago, although production costs have tripled,” said Mr Fowler. “If we produce four thousand dozen eggs and sell a thousand at market, we would be making a loss on the other three thousand. That is putting things into perspective.

“We share images and videos of our chickens all the time. They really are free range.”

Mr Fowler says clever marketing by some big brands gives consumers the wrong idea about massed produced ‘free range’ eggs.

“That is very often not what shoppers are getting,” he said. “It may have a picture of a free range chicken on the box but the eggs can come from birds stacked in cages three tiers high.”

Fowler’s Free Range eggs are used in food businesses across East Devon and are valued by local consumers.

free range eggs

The finished product – fresh from the farm

Reviews on social media include comments such as: “Only place to get fresh eggs. A warm, friendly family-run business.” And: “Never buy our eggs anywhere else – the yokes so yellow.”

The business has invested in efficient egg packing machinery.

It connects its brand with customers by sharing information about the hens it keeps.

For example, the July weather has been a big hit. Hens have enjoyed basking in the early evening sunshine.

Looking to the future, Mr Fowler said: “We supply day-old eggs to local businesses and households, with high welfare for the birds.

“But it’s hard to see how we can compete with cheap EU imports which have flooded UK markets from countries which have low farming standards and an over-supply of eggs in this country from EU-funded multi-tier 32,000 bird sheds where most of the birds can’t find their way outside.”

Support a local producer and buy genuine free range eggs at Honiton street market or call 07747077691 for free delivery.

free range eggs

Genuinely free range – a hen at Fowler’s Free Range Eggs

 

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