Great Eggspectations

Founded in 2016, the Splendid Egg is a collaboration of three farming families from South East Australian farming families producing and marketing premium-quality pastured free range eggs. The inspiration for the business came when co-founder Liam Brokensha attended a conference on soil, pasture animal and human health and the impact soil health has on our pastures, the animals that graze on it, how that translates to them producing better meat and eggs, and the consequent health benefits that has for us as the end consumers.

The Splendid Egg purchases product directly from the farm and then packages and markets the product, allowing the farmer to concentrate on egg production and managing their hens under strict guidelines of Bio-security SA with regard to regenerative farming practices.

“As we know the exact provenance of our eggs, and that they truly fulfill the free-range criteria, we want to sell them as a premium product under our own brand.”

As a joint venture, the families share ideas and help one another to grow the business, an ethos that has been successful – all three farms have seen production increase faster than originally anticipated in response to increasing customer demand. They have already added one more farming family outside the direct collaborative supplying eggs to the business to meet that demand, and that producer is steadily increasing the number of eggs they are producing.

Their efforts have been recognised by the SA business community, with co-founder Kylie Searle being nominated for Women in business Entrepreneur of the year and a Small Business award, and the

Splendid Egg winning the Mount Gambier Chamber of Commerce Agribusiness award 2017.

2018 was spent consolidating the business, matching production to market demand. Liam is determined to manage overproduction as he does not want to have to sell his product to wholesalers who then onsell under their brands. “A 2010 Cambridge Univerity study revealed that pastured free-range eggs have twice as much Omega-3, three times as much Vitamin E and six times more Vitamin D, as well as significantly lower levels of cholesterol and saturated fat than cage eggs,” Liam says. “As we know the exact provenance of our eggs, and that they truly fulfill the free-range criteria, we want to sell them as a premium product under our own brand.”

Advertising in local media and social-media marketing handled by Liam, but he is looking to expand the Splendid Egg’s footprint in Adelaide. There are a few cafes, restaurants and retailers already buying the eggs and an outlet in Adelaide Central Markets has been selling them for a few months, and Liam is looking to take on a salesperson in the state capital to grow the brand there. As the three families are all graziers they have the land to increase production capacity and not impact greatly on the number of hens per hectare – which is currently fewer than four – to meet the growing demand they expect this initiative to generate.C

This story first appeared in issue 24 of the Inside Small Business quarterly magazine.

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