Providing fresh Irish eggs since 1955, Annalitten Foods Ltd. has been recognised as a Gold Member of Origin Green Ireland’s pioneering sustainability programme – another landmark achievement for this industry-leading third-generation family business which is firmly established as one of Ireland’s largest and most conscientious egg producing, packing and distribution companies.
Since its inception more than seven and a half decades ago, Annalitten Foods / Annalitten Farm Eggs has focussed on supplying quality produce within a safe, certified, sustainable and innovative environment.
Sustainability has become increasingly critical within the food and drink industry in recent years and the trailblazing Castleblayney, County Monaghan based egg producer is at the forefront of the sustainability revolution, consistently embracing even better, cleaner and environmentally-friendlier practices in order to bring to market high-quality produce through the most sustainable methods.
As an Origin Green Gold Member, Annalitten Foods are committed to providing a sustainable food production programme. The company’s success in achieving Gold Member status as part of Origin Green Ireland’s sustainability programme for the past three years reflects the major emphasis being place on sustainable practices within the focussed, coordinated and robust Annalitten Foods quality and sustainability management systems.
Origin Green is Ireland’s pioneering food and drink sustainability programme, operating on a national scale, uniting government, the private sector and the full supply chain from farmers to food producers and right through to the foodservice and retail sectors. The programme is the world’s only national food and drink sustainability programme, enabling the industry to set and achieve measurable sustainability targets that respect the environment and serve local communities more effectively.
Annalitten Foods was established in rural Monaghan in the mid-1950s by Patrick and Margaret O’Reilly, who started a small egg collection and delivery business to support their young family. Today, the business is run by Michael and PJ O’Reilly alongside their sons, Damien, Keith and Matthew, who represent the third generation of the family.
Twenty individual farmers from all over Ireland supply Annalitten Foods every week with Bord Bia quality-assured eggs. The company has never been afraid to invest in the latest production systems and egg grading equipment to ensure that its eggs reach customers with maximum freshness and quality. Two million eggs are processed per week to a ‘Class A’ quality, utilising the most modern egg grading equipment on the market.
Annalitten Foods takes pride in what it does, innovating, executing flawlessly, creating and adding value where possible. Within the key area of energy usage, the company is committed to further reduction programmes.
Energy is a major annual cost and reducing energy consumption will benefit the wider community whilst redlieving pressure on the national grid. Annalitten Foods set a target of a 10% reduction in electricity usage levels (kWh) per tonne of eggs packed from a baseline year of 2018 in its current sustainability plan (2019-2023).
Despite unforeseen changes driven by Covid-19 measures and enhanced cleaning requirements, as well as extended working hours, the company is currently 29% ahead of target over its 2018 baseline. Indeed, due to
its strong sustainability performance to date, Annalitten Foods has updated its projected milestones for the remainder of the plan period, with the aim of a further 3% annual reduction of energy usage until 2023.
The company’s environmental targets are: to reduce waste production on site and on all their farms; to reduce energy wastage by using LED bulbs, solar panels and turning off any machines that are not being used; and to promote animal welfare (happy hens lay healthy eggs). Several new recycling bins have been installed in convenient places inside and outside the factory in Annalitten, just outside Castleblayney.
Sustainability programmes have been instigated for each producer farm, while the health and wellbeing of all employees is being assessed regularly.
Origin Green Gold membership is awarded to companies which demonstrate exceptional annual performances on their sustainability targets based on assessment by an independent verification authority. To retain ongoing membership of Origin Green, companies must subsequently submit an annual review to demonstrate clear progress against the targets and initiatives set. This annual review is subject to an independent third-party review by Bord Bia’s verification authority Mabbett, ensuring that minimum programme requirements are consistently met and maintained.
Annalitten Farm Eggs’ unswerving commitment to protecting and wherever possible enhancing the natural world was further evident last summer when they planted 200 white thorn, hazelnut and beech trees on their farm as well as sowing one kilogram of bee pasture.
As a Bord Bia and BRC approved producer, packer and distributor of commercial, free range and organic eggs, Annalitten Foods is a flexible, efficient and innovative company that cares passionately about its exemplary track record of producing quality eggs for valued customers.
The O’Reilly family work closely with Bord Bia, the Department of Agriculture and the quality department of all the main multiples. The company’s growth has been driven by the procurement of contracts to supply many leading retailers as well as independent retailers and wholesalers nationwide. Aldi, for example, is a key partner whom Annalitten Foods has been supplying with a range of fresh, high-quality eggs for coming up on twenty years.
Annalitten Foods carry out farm audits on all their producers once a month to ensure that they invariably meet the very highest standards for welfare, while the Department of Agriculture also conducts quality inspections on the packing centre itself and producers at regular intervals throughout the year.
As well as being a member of the Bord Bia Egg Quality Assurance Scheme and a Gold Member of Origin Green Ireland, Annalitten Foods is accredited by Organic Trust and BRC’s Global Standard for Food Safety. They are also a member of the Irish Egg Marketing Board, which represents the interests of the main egg packing companies in Ireland, who between them account for over 95 per cent of Irish table egg production.
Annalitten Foods boasts an unrivalled track record for excellence stretching back an incredible 77 years and – with the focus very much on quality, sustainability and innovation – one gets the distinct impression that there are many more chapters remaining to be written in this outstanding success story!
Annalitten Foods Ltd.,
Tel: 042 9743623
Fax: 042 97443722
Email: [email protected]
First published in Irish Tractor & Agri magazine Vol 10 No 5, September/October 2022