L J Fairburn & Son
- Sector: Farming & Fishery
- Region: East Midlands
Chicken and egg
L J Fairburn & Son started producing eggs in Alford, Lincolnshire, in 1951 with 150 chickens. It’s now one of the country’s largest suppliers, with five million hens providing more than 17 million eggs a week to the likes of Aldi, Asda, Costco, Morrisons and Sainsbury’s.
The company has developed a vertically-integrated business model, which, in addition to looking after all those chickens, involves farming its own arable land, operating its own feed mill and running a haulage fleet.
"Our complete vertical integration means that every input into our finished product is within our control," says Daniel Fairburn, Managing Director. "Innovation is key. We have the knowledge and technology to breed new types of hens to create different-coloured eggs and to feed our hens bespoke diets to produce things like omega-enriched eggs. These speciality and premium egg offerings give our retail customers choice and the opportunity to take advantage of higher price points."
The company has enjoyed impressive growth in recent years, boosting its turnover from £23.5m in 2012 to £80.8m last year and increasing its staff numbers from 52 employees in 2012 to 250 today.
"The development and implementation of our business model focus on sustainable future growth through inward investment, having put 85.5% of profits back into the business over the past five years," says Daniel. "We have improved efficiency, invested in technology, genetics, data and infrastructure and are continually driving the business forward."
Despite all this, the company is also staying true to its roots. "Our business is centred on family and, while it has grown rapidly, family values, business integrity and transparency are the key principles, to which the team remains loyal," says Daniel.