Our history begins in a small car garage, with a cool room no larger than a drink refrigerator and a small table top egg grading machine. It was here that husband and wife team Dion and Anne Andary commenced the journey that has now evolved into Days Eggs Pty Ltd.
Their endeavour into the egg industry was a continuation of a family operation that began in the late 1950's with Anne's parents who owned about 400 chickens in Alma, South Australia.
In order to identify their new business, the name D.A.Y.S. was created, which originated from their names, Dion, Anne, and their two daughters, Yasmine and Sarah.
After leasing a small production facility and acquiring a small van and small beat up truck (all they could afford at the time), they began egg production. They also sourced extra eggs from local producers and packed and marketed direct to small retailers around Adelaide.
With the kids still in pre-school, all prepared for the egg round, Anne would set off on her weekly egg delivery run. Dion would leave before daylight to deliver to his Pooraka market customers. Both returned home daily to collect and pack eggs at night while the children were in bed, until they were old enough to join the team! The children knew almost every green grocer, baker and butcher in and around Adelaide, and became experts on free fritz and fruit samples!
At this time in the industry, it was mandatory to have a licensed hen quota in order to own hens. They leased a quota of 700 hens in a rented shed, but were restricted to 60% production by the South Australian Egg Board.
In order to meet the growing demand for eggs, and with a strong focus on service to small business, they embarked on a high risk strategy to further expand the egg farming and distribution business.
During the early 1990's the government de-regulated the egg industry, which created a great deal of uncertainty for egg farmers. Due to this, many smaller egg farmers in South Australia decided to exit the industry. With Dion’s vision and strategic planning, and Anne’s commitment and dedication to customer service and sales, they took the opportunity to go against the trend and push further into egg farming by acquiring many smaller egg businesses. This began to further expand their markets and was the start of their many growth phases to come.
Dion and Anne launched their Country Fresh Eggs label, a proudly South Australian, farmers' own brand, as a direct opposition to the influx of interstate eggs. The Country Fresh Eggs label is now the oldest surviving brand in SA.
The operations were moved to a new property at Two Wells/Lower Light. Following consistent business growth year after year, the development of the facility continued and it still now serves as the main administration, packing and distribution centre for Days Eggs.
With further national pressure on the SA egg industry, due to the new national legislation for caged production to be enforced by 2008, Dion & Anne purchased an old style farm in Napperby, near Port Pirie in South Australia. This farm needed to be modernized in order to meet the new welfare standards. Dion and Anne were the first in South Australia to embark on the mandatory requirement.
Following a surge of extremely cheap interstate eggs in early 2005, it was decided to once again stand up to the competition and produce eggs to a better standard. D.A.Y.S. commissioned the first of 3 modern, state-of-the-art, technologically advanced and environmentally controlled layer sheds, housing 30,000 hens in each. This was the first and only pre-enriched colony type hen housing in South Australia.
Due to the high capital outlays required to fund this modern technological expansion, it was decided to corporatise the business to provide the massive funding requirement to enable them to continue with the modern expansion plans. The business became incorporated in September 2006, with the primary focus of providing South Australian retailers and consumers with the highest quality of affordable and locally produced eggs.
It is from here that Days Eggs Pty Ltd was born.
Since then, Days Eggs has focused on integrating our entire operations, from the rearing of day old chicks, to providing first quality table eggs. The vision was never to be the biggest, but to be the best at what we do.
The company built a new egg grading complex and installed and commissioned a new, high speed, large volume and computerised Moba egg grading machine that also included an inline washing and sanitising plant. The machine has the capacity to grade 60,000 eggs per hour.
Present (2008 - 2018)
Fast forward to today, and Days Eggs Pty Ltd now has a dedicated team of over 90 employees and have world's best practice in the farming, grading and distribution of fresh eggs into local and interstate markets.
Following substantial capital investment in new technology and automation over the past 10 years, in 8 locations around South Australia, we have now grown to become South Australia’s largest egg producer, providing premium quality cage eggs, free range eggs and cage free eggs to all our customers throughout the state and interstate.
Days Eggs expanded its grading and warehouse capacity at the Lower Light facility installing a new egg grading complex and installed and commissioned a new, high speed, large volume, computerised egg grading machine. It also includes a UV sanitiser, an inline washing & sanitising plant and oiling plant. Currently the machine has the capacity to grade 126,000 eggs per hour. The new expansion also provided an 800 pallet warehouse and distribution load out facility.
Although there has been a debate in the media of late regarding farming systems and a push towards free range, Days Eggs promotes and supports all farming systems and is proud to offer choice to all consumers. Offering a variety of egg farming systems, in general terms, provides for a range of animal welfare and egg quality outcomes. It also ensures the accessibility of eggs as a nutrient dense and affordable protein for all South Australian families.
The original Country Fresh Eggs packaging
Optimum hen welfare and food safe production is where Days Eggs see the future.
Days Eggs is both responsive to the challenge of managing community concerns on animal welfare, and we are alert to the implications of rapid change for all farmers and community. We know we must continue to improve and that we must do that sustainably and responsibly.
The experience of social media has been difficult for the egg industry. We have sometimes struggled with non-factual, uninformed criticism however our experience of direct community engagement has been energizing. We are extremely proud that upon seeing it for themselves, people are comfortable with any of our farming methods.
We never ignore public concern, but we are challenged by the task of isolating and responding only to those concerns that have a factual basis. When people truly understand what we do and why we do it, they are convinced of the ultimate integrity of what we do.
Days Eggs provides industry leadership and with further expansion plans into modern production systems, continues to enjoy a steady growth in the national egg markets.
Thank you for sharing our journey. We hope this information helps to provide an understanding of the enormous dedication and commitment by our family, staff and stakeholders to achieve the highest quality service and product.
Highest quality eggs and best hen welfare have always remained the focal point and the main driving force of what we do.