Thu | Nov 23, 2017

Liquid egg market poised for solid growth

Published:Tuesday | November 7, 2017 | 12:00 AMChristopher Serju
A worker offloads a tray of eggs as they begin the process to wash, crack, separate and package them into various liquid forms at Crafton Holdings Limited, Jamaica’s sole manufacturer and distributor of pasteurised liquid eggs.
A worker pours a batch of egg yolks into a vat where it will undergo further processing.
Karl Samuda, minister of industry, commerce, agriculture and fisheries, checks the reading as cracked eggs flow through the specialised equipment.
Candling is a very old method of checking the fertility and viability of eggs. The process works by illuminating the interior of an egg to see what is inside the shell.
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Karl Samuda, minister of industry, commerce, agriculture and fisheries, has given the stamp of approval to the operations of Crafton Holdings Limited, the country's sole manufacturer and distributor of pasteurised liquid eggs.

"I like the flow of the factory. It is well designed, efficient and I would suspect that they will have to expand soon in terms of physical space," the minister told journalists on Friday, following a tour of the facilities at 6 Bay Farm Road, Kingston 11. "It offers a great opportunity for growth not only in Jamaica, but also for CARICOM, which is a more lucrative market."

Company Director Damion Crawford explained that the process is already in train for them to qualify for HACCP (hazard analysis and critical control points), an international standard defining the requirements for effective control of food safety.

 

PROVIDING VITAL SUPPORT

 

In fact, the Bureau of Standards Jamaica, the Scientific Research Council, which has been providing guidance and oversight from startup, as well as Technological Solutions Limited, continue to provide the vital technical and quality assurance support. A 12-member team in the administrative, quality assurance, production and delivery departments ensures that these exacting standards are maintained.

From its Rosend Farm in St Mary, where it has 30,000 layer birds, the company gets a consistent supply of eggs to meet the demand for 500 cases per week. This is supplemented by the contribution from 42 small farmers, 23 of whom are on contract. At the Corporate Area facility, these are processed into pasteurised liquid eggs for the hotel and baking industries, with the agriculture minister voicing approval of this integrated business approach.

"This is an excellent example of agro-industry at work," Samuda noted.

Cutting high energy costs critical to sustainable, profitable business

In addition to whole eggs, bake easy (for baking purposes), egg whites and egg yolks, Crafton Holdings Limited, the country's sole manufacturer and distributor of pasteurised liquid eggs, is also doing scrambled eggs and is awaiting approval from the Scientific Research Council before launching its frozen French toast offering.

With 18 workers at the Rosend Farm in St Mary and at least nine at the 6 Bay Farm Road, Kingston 11 factory, Director Damion Crawford is happy with the positive socio-economic impact the fledgling company is already having and is inspired to get all the processes right in order to ensure that the business really grows in a sustainable and profitable manner. Cutting the high energy bill is very crucial to achieving this, especially for an operation which demands 24/7 refrigeration.

"We have already applied for a grant to go solar because that (high energy cost) is our only real negative in terms of production. We have lower labour infrastructure costs and we can operate all season. So once we are able to get our energy costs under control, we will be able to be competitive," Crawford acknowledged. "Then the company will be on an even more solid footing to really grow the liquid egg market, well beyond the shores of Jamaica."

christopher.serju@gleanerjm.com