Meet the couple producing eggs the Waterford Way
You have to get up very early in the morning to stay ahead of the posse, and you have to get up even earlier to produce a product that has become highly sought after because of its uniquely fresh, local and authentic signature.
Trevor Power and his wife Sandra have been producing the finest quality free range eggs on their farm in Ballinamult since 2005. In the beginning, in order to get these eggs - which they knew were special - out to the people, they had to start in the Farmer’s Markets.
“It all began with the Dungarvan and Clonmel Markets," Trevor explained. “As the years went on we were getting busier and busier and it seemed that more people wanted the eggs, coming from miles around to get them.”
Trevor knew that in order to keep up with demand, they would have to start supplying the retail market - a move, which would require them to set up their own egg packing and grading facilities.
In 2014, after many years of research and hard work, they upgraded their facilities and became a fully registered and approved egg packing centre with the Department of Agriculture. Early Bird Eggs was born and they became the only free range egg producer with approved packing and grading facilities in Waterford.
“By registering with the Department and doing everything right, we became unique,” Trevor said. “It was a guaranteed seal of freshness that you don’t often get with your eggs these days. A lot of the ones that you see in your shops now are going through wholesalers, distributors etc so there’s quite a lengthy supply chain there from farm to shop."
"With us, the eggs are laid today and in the market or the shops tomorrow. They are 100% traceable and as fresh as you can get and the freshness of an egg is so important and makes such a difference to the taste.”
Trevor and Sandra currently have 29 acres of land with four different flocks of hens of various ages, meaning that they have a constant supply of eggs all year round.
They are truly doing Food the Waterford Way with their distinctly organic and traceable methods but also in their collaborations with other local producers. Currently, they supply a number of restaurants in Waterford City and County as well as other local food heroes such as Dessert First and The Sea Gardener.
Asked what he thought of the food industry in 2018, Trevor said, “I think there is a growing support for local producers but I would like to see the labelling of foods becoming more clear."
"It’s not necessarily easy for people to see where their food is coming from by current packaging so the traceability is not there. It’s often misleading, which is not good for the consumer and the local producer.”
Speaking about motivation, he added, “I love farming and producing good quality eggs. It’s great to be able to supply shops and restaurants but there’s nothing like the feeling of being in a Farmer’s Market and meeting your customers as they tell you how much they love your product. This makes it all worthwhile.”
Looking to the future of Early Bird Eggs, Trevor explained, "We have put a lot of effort into the farm and to the hens but I think it’s time now to spend a bit more time on marketing."
“We know that our eggs are special and unique so we need to work on letting everyone else know as well. It’s so important and so beneficial to support local food producers because the product you’re getting is so much better. I use all local services and suppliers myself so I know this first hand.”