Representatives from Egg Farmers of Alberta (EFA) were among the attendees at the grand opening of the Egg Processing Innovations Co-operative (EPIC) egg-breaking plant in Lethbridge, on June 25th. EFA would like to congratulate EPIC and United Egg Farmers (UEF) for realizing their vision of providing Alberta’s 150+ registered egg farmers with a provincial egg-breaking plant.
EPIC represents a tremendous long-term market development opportunity for Alberta’s egg industry, via innovation, research and strategic partnerships. While the grand opening marks the successful completion of one journey, it is truly the beginning of another much more significant journey for the egg industry in Alberta and, in fact, Canada. EFA and EPIC have already showed good signs of synergy, as evidenced by their efforts surrounding a potentially revolutionary R&D project which uses eggshell membranes – a waste product from egg processing – in the development of batteries. EFA has sponsored the research project, while EPIC has already acquired the rights to the unique equipment required for efficient separation of shell and membrane, in addition to negotiating first rights to act as supplier if any related project goes into production.
The stable farm income, which supply management provides, enables farmers to invest confidently in value-added projects such as EPIC. Alberta’s egg farmers have invested $2.7M into the EPIC plant, which will create 20 full time equivalent jobs, process 180,000 dozen eggs per week, produce 90,000 kg of liquid eggs per week and generate $8M of projected annual sales. Innovation and expansion of Alberta’s egg industry is made possible thanks to the uniquely Canadian system of supply management. Whether it’s bringing a previously developed product to the Canadian market or becoming a supply chain partner to develop new products, EPIC provides a viable avenue for future growth and sustainability of Alberta’s egg industry.