Suffolk egg farmer’s cracking drinks start-up scoops £10k agri-tech grant
- Credit: bokeh photographic - Alistair Grant
A Suffolk farmer who has launched a high protein egg drink start-up business is celebrating after scooping a further £10,000 in grant aid to support its development.
Matthew Havers, of Kings Farm Foods, near Eye, was given the cash boost from the Eastern Agri-Tech Growth Initiative to take his PECK drinks project to the next level. He previously scooped a £40,000 Innovation Grant Initiative towards research and development of the scheme, which he dreamed up as part of plan to boost income on his family’s free range egg farm and others like it. He felt there was a gap in the health food market for his high protein flavoured egg white drinks, and that good eggs which didn’t make the supermarket grade could be put to good use in the drinks.
“The forces that are driving a lot of food creation is the need for new, convenient and healthy,” said Matt. “Eggs have had loads of the latter, but not much of the first two. Egg consumption has grown year on year with few new applications, innovations or product launches. We figure if we only tapped into those who are already into their eggs we would be winners. However, we believe the market for our drinks is so much bigger than that.”
Eastern Agri-Tech Growth Initiative programme manager Martin Lutman said: “PECK Drinks has brought intelligent innovation and convenience to egg produce. Tapping into the highly profitable protein drinks arena, and combining it with a new narrative for convenience food, PECK has reinvented the egg and given a new value to snack foods.”
Matthew has faced processing challenges surrounding eggs, including high heats, time shortages and food safety concerns, and had to reinvent traditional food processing methods.
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PECK had managed to “achieve something no other company in the egg space would ordinarily be willing to try”, said grant giver Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP). Although the project was fraught with potential problems, it was making “excellent” progress. “Investment in new equipment will enable PECK to successfully generate yield volumes to replicate their innovation at mass consumer level, delivering convenient egg-based snacks straight from the farm to the supermarket,” it said.
The egg drinks business would also help reduce food waste, it said.
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The Eastern Agri-Tech Growth Initiative is run by the Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough Enterprise Partnership (LEP) with support from New Anglia LEP, Norfolk County Council, Cambridgeshire County Council, and the local authorities covering this area.
To find out about Eastern Agri-Tech Growth Initiative grants, visit www.agritechgrants.co.uk or call the LEP on 01480 277180.