Don't Put Your Eggs In One Basket: How This S'pore Egg Farm Copes With COVID-19 Challenges
As one of many high-tech farms in Singapore, know-how has undoubtedly been on the forefront of N&N Agriculture’s processes.
N&N Agriculture has invested $13 million into the pasteurisation know-how to make sure that clients who love their eggs uncooked and runny can get pleasure from them with out the danger of salmonella, particularly for these with decrease immunity like pregnant girls and the aged.
Along with recent desk eggs, its produces — that are bought below the Egg Story model — endure a pasteurisation course of that includes submerging the eggs in a heat water bathtub at a exact temperature and length.
This truly permits for the advantageous stability between killing dangerous micro organism and never cooking the egg.
The pasteurisation know-how can also be used for its line of sentimental yolk eggs (i.e ‘hanjuku’ eggs), in addition to ready-poached eggs.
To additional subvert the standard farming imagery and according to environmental friendliness, the corporate’s anaerobic digesters are busy churning the chickens’ waste matter into electrical energy to produce a part of the farm’s energy wants.
With the rise of COVID-19 nonetheless, N&N Agriculture CEO Ma Chin Chew, like many native farmers, is more and more strolling on eggshells. On this interview, he shares how his farm escapes unscathed from the enterprise challenges that this pandemic has led to.
Don’t Put All Your Eggs In One Basket
Except for the direct fall in demand from the F&B sector comparable to catering providers and hawkers, a consequent results of this have led to a surge in competitors with different suppliers, as their eyes at the moment are zoned in on the identical single prize.
Whereas it’s true [that] eggs are in good demand within the grocers and supermarkets now, in precise truth, we face an enormous competitors as egg suppliers throughout Singapore at the moment are concentrating on one channel – retail and on-line grocery enterprise.
It’s not simply that. The price of operation and uncooked supplies for Singapore farmers is [also] costlier than Malaysia’s or suppliers from different nations, so in that manner we don’t truly profit a lot although there’s the demand.
– Ma Chin Chew, CEO of N&N Agriculture
Sharing extra about his enterprise, Ma stated that the ex-owner of N&N Agriculture requested him to hitch the corporate as a majority shareholder in 2008 when he began hatching the composite sketch of a distinct enterprise mannequin.
“Prior to now, the ex-owner depended primarily on enterprise from wholesalers,” he stated. Nonetheless, this was not with out its personal set of challenges.
N&N is a multi-layer egg farm which boasts six layers of hen homes, with every home based mostly on a manufacturing interval of three to 4 months distinction.
The intervals are spaced to make sure a steady cycle of getting a constant provide of 360,000 to 400,000 eggs per day.
Wholesalers can come at present and don’t come tomorrow. If the wholesaler doesn’t buy the eggs persistently, then there might be a pile up.
Think about this state of affairs – if we’re producing 400,000 eggs a day, what occurs if the wholesaler doesn’t are available for 3 days? In that manner, we might be held ransom by their timetable and so they dictate the worth too.
– Ma Chin Chew, CEO of N&N Agriculture
Such a enterprise technique was not sustainable to Chin Chew. When he took full possession of the corporate in 2010, he determined to diversify who he provides his eggs to, and never rely solely on the wholesaler.
Since then, N&N Agriculture has diversified its channels of distribution to incorporate supermarkets, the meals and beverage sector, caterers, lodges, ship chandlers and export commerce, on high of wholesalers.
The corporate’s transfer to increase its product vary past desk eggs to incorporate producing pasteurised shell eggs and varied value-added pasteurised egg merchandise additionally helped unfold its eggs into extra income baskets.
Diversifying Meals Provide Chain In S’pore
Chin Chew’s transfer of not placing all his eggs in a single basket echoes Minister of Commerce and Trade Chan Chun Sing’s name for a extra diversified meals provide chain in Singapore.
Alongside the narrative of a extra resilient meals provide chain, Singapore has additionally not too long ago set a “30 by 30” objective — it goals to supply 30% of our nation’s dietary wants by 2030.
When requested for his tackle this ambition, Chin Chew commends it to be “an excellent transfer for the nation and our meals provide resilience.”
Nonetheless, he additionally voiced his considerations in getting there.
“Loads of issues must be in place, a variety of events must work collectively to make this work, it’s not nearly manufacturing. There are a lot of challenges to satisfy for this objective, particularly for the provision of eggs,” he stated.
Chin Chew chalked up certainly one of his largest worries to uncertainty, particularly within the present pandemic local weather.
“As you understand, we gained’t know what’s going to occur subsequent, particularly when it comes to uncooked materials provide. The chickens must be fed, and with out these uncooked supplies and feed, there gained’t be eggs in any respect.”
He added that producing the required quantity of eggs to satisfy the quota isn’t troublesome. As a substitute, the problem lies in dealing with the byproduct of the elevated egg manufacturing.
The quantity of hen manure is a mucky ordeal in itself because of the large volumes produced day-after-day.
Whereas N&N’s anaerobic digestor is ready to course of and scale back the waste matter from 100% to 15%, the quantity of sludge (by-product of anaerobic digestion) continues to be substantial.
As such, Chin Chew hopes that the Nationwide Environmental Company and Nationwide Parks Board can facilitate R&D efforts to transform the sludge into natural fertiliser, which our nation could make use of in sustaining our backyard metropolis.
Featured Picture Credit score: N&N Agriculture