West Country Layers Association is back in action!

Published on : 21 Feb 2024

The event will be hosted by St. Ewe Free Range Eggs at their new headquarters and Packing Centre in Cornwall

After a hiatus in activity , the WCLA has a new chairman and will be hosting a new event this March to kick start the year. This meeting, held in Cornwall, features guest speaker Gary Ford, CEO of the BEIC.

West Country Layers Association, with the support of the NFU are holding an afternoon meeting on Wednesday 27th March, hosted by St. Ewe Free Range Eggs at their new headquarters and Packing Centre in Cornwall.

The afternoon event is being held at St. Ewe Free Range Eggs, Resparveth Farm, near Truro, TR2 4EF. The event is free to attend and a lunch will be served. Registration starts at one o’clock til half past.

After lunch, visitors will join the team on a guided tour of the new packing centre before presentations from St. Ewe’s CEO Rebecca Tonks and Gary Ford CEO of BEIC.

View of the Egg Market and new Lion Code
Rebecca Tonks will offer an introduction to the Packing Centre and her view of the egg market going forward.

Gary Ford will be joining producers for an open discussion to talk about a range of subjects, including the current situation with the RSPCA amended laying hen welfare standards and the recent AI outbreak. His focus will be on Version 8 of the Lion Code of Practice, which went 'live' on 1st September 2023 and will highlight the new standards, explaining what they are and why there were introduced.

He is eager to hear from producers at the meeting on their view of the Lion Code and how producers can work together going forward.

The organisers say “This is a great opportunity for all connections to come and see the commitment and investment to the egg industry in the Southwest. A chance to listen and have your say on the role of the BEIC in your industry. Gary is definitely in listening mode, and we have an opportunity to help shape the lion code, so it works for us all”.

About the WCLA
Having appointed Tim Gelfs from Westleaze Farm in West Dorset, as the new Chairman, the WCLA is very much back in the driving seat to support West Country poultry farmers. Tim is also Vice Chair for the NFU in Dorset and runs two Free Range units.

Tim Gelfs, Chairman of WCLA

The WCLA has three main priorities for this year;-

1) To give members a voice in order to hold stakeholders to account where appropriate.

2) To form a social link for producers. Agriculture is a lonely business and putting on events where producers can relax, talk and have some fun is as equally as important as running their business.

3) To provide educational meetings and training to keep producers abreast of regulations and keep them at the forefront of innovation in the industry.

Tim adds “This year we are going to hold 3 events, this one in March and a social event mid-summer and then an evening meeting in the backend of the year. We plan to hold these around the region, in easily accessible venues such as Exeter Racecourse and along the M5 corridor. We are keen to grow membership which is free. We feel there is a real need for the association in the southwest and look forward to meeting farmers, offering support and having some fun as well.”

Email: info@westcountrylayers.com
Phone: 01872 713 113 (St Ewe)