Keep it local with Gannon’s Eggs and Poultry

13 Aug , 2015  

Gannon’s Eggs and poultry in Carrick-on-Shannon is the longest running egg and poultry business in Ireland. Managing Director Ray Gannon traces the company’s roots from its establishment all of 139 years ago right up to the challenges it faces in today’s ultra-competitive marketplace.

Established by Michael Gannon in 1875, Gannon Eggs and poultry started out life as a small egg and poultry business with Michael going from house to house selling a few groceries and buying eggs and fowl in return.

The business has come a long way from its humble origins and, nowadays, Michael’s great-grandson Ray Gannon has taken on the baton of overseeing the smooth running of the business.

Times have changed dramatically and their wide and varied product list includes a full range of organic, barn and freerange products including duck and hen eggs and poultry in a wide array of products.

Based at Tullyleague, Carrick-on-Shannon, Co. Roscommon, the business employs 12 full-time and 2 part-time staff including Ray’s wife Geraldine and his brother Ciaran.

Today’s market conditions have provided Ray and his staff with plenty to think about but they are determined to maintain and enhance the company’s proud legacy.

“It’s as tough out there as I’ve ever seen it,” revealed Ray who joined the family business full-time as a 17-year-old straight from school 33 years ago.

“It has always been tough in this game, you could never say it was easy but the show must go on. Hens will lay eggs and they have to be looked after, gathered and checked. There’s no such thing as time off in our industry, it’s all hands on decks, 24/7 365 days a year.”

The hard graft is not reflected in today’s prices and rising overheads are proving a heavy burden to shoulder for small to medium enterprises throughout the country.

“I have never known any difference insofar as margins are tighter and overheads are not always kept in proportion. You need to be really tuned into where you can find savings. Energy and feed costs have been crippling us over the last couple of years.

“And the big multiples have taken a bigger percentage of the retail market and a lot of the smaller outlets we would have historically dealt with have disappeared.”

In order to survive, Gannon Eggs and Poultry have been forced to adapt and diversify but they have never forgotten the importance of keeping a firm focus on the “local” element of their business.

“We pride ourselves on being local, we’re a family-owned company and, importantly, we’re very much hands on. What you see is what you get.

“We offer a good service, a good product and we’re reliable. We offer our customers a wide choice of product. Our core business is egg and chicken but we also specialise in other poultry products, fresh foods, and frozen foods.

“We recently took our first steps into the organic markets – eggs and chicken. They are niche and developing markets where we see a lot of growth happening in the future.

“All our products are Irish, have full traceability and are sold at keen, competitive prices.”

As well as the traditional routes to market, Gannon’s sell their products via Eggspress machines, a Market Shop and online at their easy to navigate website – www.gannonspoultry.ie.

Their Eggspress machines are located at their stores on the Croghan/Frenchpark Rd and at the Northwest Buisness Park, Carrick on Shannon. They are the only two of a kind west of the Shannon and are open from 8 till late ensuring their customers are never disappointed.

Their Farmers Market Shop trades at market fairs between 9.30am and 5.30pm on the following days: The Square in Ballymote every Thursday; Market yard, Sligo every Friday and The Square, Roscommon every Saturday.

“We launched our online shop this year and that has proven to be very successful,” highlighted Ray.

Not known for resting on his laurels, Ray is optimistic about the future prospects for Gannon’s Eggs and poultry.

“I’d be positive enough about the business. No matter what happens in the future, people will still need to eat and I have every confidence in our products which are healthy and nutritious and cost conscious.

“There will be challenges that must be addressed as we meet them. There is a changing landscape. In my life time I’ve seen major changes and the men that went before me saw bigger. I’m confident we can keep going in some shape or form well into the future.

“Traceability has become an issue for people who are more conscious nowadays as to where their food comes from. You can’t get more local than us.

“We are the only Bord Bia quality Assured Egg and Poultry producers/packers in counties Roscommon, Leitrim, Sligo and Longford.”

Gannon’s Eggs and Poultry
Co. Roscommon.

Phone: +353 (0)71 96 20070
Mobile:+353 (0)87 2526195
Email: [email protected]
Website: www.gannonspoultry.ie

Taken from Irish Tractor & Agri magazine Vol 2 No 7, December 2014