17th March 2019 – With stockist including Avoca, Nourish and Dublin Food Co-op, Carlow company Butler’s Organic Eggs delivers more than 12,000 eggs to customers every week. The company was established in 2007 when David Butler took over the family farm at Hacketstown, Co Carlow.
What started as a 250-bird enterprise has since grown into a 2,500-bird organic egg farm, with 35 stockist around the country including shops and restaurants. Butler’s wife Paula recently joined the family business, leaving behind a long-standing career in the civil service. ” I left my job to help grow a family business we can pass on to our children Noel and Kate,” she said. “David can concentrate on the welfare and farming side of the business now, while I focus on brand and business development.”
Butler’s Organic Eggs is supported by Carlow Local Enterprise Office. The company has been assigned a consultant through the EU-funded Catalyst programme, a pilot scheme aimed at driving innovation in the life science, food and drink sectors in Ireland and Wales. “I’m working with the consultant on an expansion plan which could double the size of our business over a number of years,” said Paula Butler. “There is definitely room for expansion, but welfare is our priority. Any expansion will have to be done strategically and carefully. “Our birds are happy birds and any disruption or change could upset them and could also result in a sudden drop in production.”
Butlers’ Organic Eggs has an annual turnover of about €300,000. The company works with a Dublin based wholesaler to distribute produce to stockists in Leinster. The farm is certified by the Irish Organic Association and the hens are fed with specially sourced organic pellets.
“Organic means no pesticides, no chemicals, no GMO’s, colourants or fertilisers,” said Butler. “Birds are very well looked after in organic production. They have twice the space that even free range tends do. Their food sis second to none.
“We would love to be able to source organic layers’ pellets in Ireland. They have to come in from Britain. We don’t grown enough organic crops in Ireland at the moment to allow for their manufacture.”