FRENZ Eggs case study
Free Range with Integrity
In the 70s, from humble beginnings on a single farm in Pukekohe, Kiwi Rob Darby recognised a gap in the market for wholesome, naturally and sustainably produced, certified free range eggs. Rob hatched a plan and created FRENZ (The Free Range Egg Co www.FRENZeggs.co.nz ).
The word soon spread about these free range eggs with scrumptious golden yolks and demand climbed steadily.
It wasn’t long before Rob sought out like-minded egg farmers with a view to creating a cottage industry of free range egg farms that could keep up with growing demand while at the same time “keeping it real.”
Initially the focus was on overseas markets and FRENZ became New Zealand's first exporter of free range eggs. Millions of eggs have been flown to the US and Hong Kong ever since.
Kiwi consumers started getting a bigger slice of the free range action when FRENZ partnered with Countdown (then Big Fresh) in 1993. FRENZ started supplying Newmarket’s 277 Countdown store, eventually extending supply to 173 Countdown stores.
“Free range eggs were something of a speciality when we started up in the eighties. You’d find them in small shops here and there, but once more people tried them and tasted the difference they kept coming back for more,” says Rob.
“In the early 90s we had the eggs to fill the gap in the market, but we needed a partner to help us make it available to consumers. Countdown were keen to work alongside our vision to bring free range and organic eggs to their customers and gave us the opportunity to expand. We’ve worked together ever since, steadily increasing our presence in store as demand grew. There were a few ownership changes with Countdown throughout that period, but the support and collaboration has been maintained right the way through. They’ve opened up more shelf space for free range eggs and through their marketing efforts have helped grow the demand for free range with consumers.”
Today 17 owner operated farms in the upper North Island are part of the FRENZ Family, producing around 330,000 free range and organic eggs each week.
“It’s not the easiest way to farm, it takes a lot of investment and ever expanding knowledge to do this in a sustainable way, but the result is well cared for hens producing great tasting eggs that people love, both here and abroad,” says Rob.
All FRENZ eggs are genuine certified free range. They also produce certified organic eggs (where the hens' feed is certified 100% organic). These are regularly, independently certified by Bio Gro and inspected by the Ministry of Primary Industries, to the highest export standards.
What's even more important is what's not in FRENZ organic eggs; antibiotics, growth hormones, artificial colouring or pesticides.
FRENZ hens are free to roam outside and have access to varied green plants and insect sources that provide healthy fatty acids, natural Omega's, high levels of natural protein and less saturated fat.
Because FRENZ eggs are farmed naturally,their shells are a mix of colours, shapes and sizes. To make sure every egg's a good one, FRENZ clean, inspect, grade, and pack each egg themselves to the highest export standard.
“Our farmers are dedicated, passionate families who follow FRENZ standards to ensure all birds have unrestricted access to expansive pastures to roam and do what they do best. We maintain small flocks of max 350 birds per acre for organic free range eggs and 500 birds per acre for free range eggs. The cost of land, feed and flock maintenance mean free range eggs are more expensive to produce than cage eggs, but many consumers are prepared to pay that little bit extra for an organic or free range product. We’re free ranging the way it has been done for hundreds of years and are proud to provide Countdown customers with that healthy option.”