Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk
Poultry (free range eggs)
POULTRY & ARABLE, SUFFOLK: Dan lives and works on the family farm on the Suffolk/Cambridgeshire border, growing wheat, triticale (a highly nutritious hybrid cross of wheat and rye), sugar beet and potatoes on 600 acres (243 hectares). He also keeps 44,000 free range hens, which lay between 35,000 and 40,000 eggs every day, all sold to a single company in Bedfordshire.
Like all poultry farmers, Dan struggles with the constant threat of Avian Influenza, along with rising energy and feed costs. The soaring cost of feed spurred him into installing a mill, which he now uses to mill his wheat and triticale to make his own poultry feed. Dan says another challenge for poultry farmers is getting retailers to agree to longer-term supply deals which pay a sensible price, and to commit to them.
When Dan was growing up, the farm was a dairy farm. He didn't know anything about free range egg production until he used it as a case study for an A-level Business Studies project. He then forgot all about it and went off to East Anglia University to study Business Studies in 2000.
By the time Dan graduated, his family were looking for a diversification. Dan dusted off his A-level coursework and started researching free range egg production. The first poultry shed was built in 2004 and by 2015 the eggs were doing so well a second shed went up.
Member of the NFU and BFREPA (British Free Range Egg Producers Association)
Various interviews on national radio.