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Dales company reassures as free range "scandal" continues

[Wednesday 22 November 2006]
lorna chippindale
Lorna Chippindale reassures consumers

AS rural affairs department Defra warns consumers that millions of eggs may have been fraudulently passed off as free range, one Yorkshire Dales based company is sending out the reassuring message that it knows exactly where its produce comes from.

With government officials declaring that 1 per cent of the free range market - amounting to 30 million eggs a year - could be affected, Chippindale Foods says it is the only company to give customers full traceability on their eggs.

The Harrogate firm, which was founded in 1930, packages and despatches over one million free range eggs per week from across the Yorkshire region to supermarkets including Morrison's, Booths and to wholesale food distributors.

Its website launched in June 2005 and allows consumers to type in the batch number from their egg and trace it back to the farm it came from.

Says Lorna Chippindale, Director of Chippindale Foods: "Encouraging consumers to see exactly where their food is from, and offering the chance to ask questions of each farmer has helped to bridge the gap between consumers and producers which sadly seems to have widened over the past decade.

"Given headline news today, we have seen many more visitors to our website. Hopefully www.wheresyoursfrom.com will reassure our consumers of Yorkshire Free Range and brontëbrowns organic eggs."

"Consumers today are more concerned than ever about the provenance of their food. Seven out of ten now buy free range and organic produce for environmental and food safety reasons; indeed in a recent consumer survey 80% of consumers said it was "Very important" to understand where food they were providing for their family comes from."

Consumers today are more concerned than ever about the provenance of their food

Lorna Chippindale - Chippindale Foods

With the free range and organic market booming, the company has secured £130,000 in financial support from Defra to expand its premises and invested in the latest egg-grading machine.

Says MD, Mr Chippindale, "The project will improve our production flow, efficiency and quality as well as giving us unbeatable product traceability. We are the first in Yorkshire to invest in this technology; it will help us compete with the larger egg packers in the industry.

"We have a superb supply base of free range and organic farmers in the north. Now we are looking for further production to meet the ever increasing demand for quality egg."

To enquire about becoming a Farming Partner with Chippindale Foods, call Peter Chignell on 01423 884 042.

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