Leading North East egg producer Lintz Hall Farm is rounding off an already successful year on a renewed high after winning two prestigious supermarket contracts.
The family-run business, based at Burnopfield in County Durham, is to supply Morrisons and Tesco Express stores across the North East and as far afield as Edinburgh with its Derwent Valley brand free range eggs.
The separate ongoing deals will see Lintz Hall Farm, which has been in the hands of the Tulip family for the past 61 years, opening a new egg distribution depot at Coldstream as it seeks to support growing sales north of the border and strives to make further inroads into the Scottish market.
Brothers Richard and Stephen Tulip, the fourth generation of their family to be involved with the egg business, struck the deal with Morrisons just days after jointly winning the Poultry Farmer of the Year accolade in the 2013 Farmers’ Weekly Awards held last month.
It will see Lintz Hall’s Derwent Valley eggs selling in 11 Morrisons outlets in the North East and south east Scotland as far as Edinburgh.
Shortly afterwards Tesco Express also announced it wanted to stock the premium Derwent Valley label in more than 30 of its North East stores.
The large pack of Derwent Valley Free Range Eggs already has the honour of achieving the highest unit rate of sale in Tesco supermarkets nationally. The Tesco Express agreement – which is separate to that which Lintz Hall already enjoys with the grocery retailer’s superstores – has come about as a result of that sales success.
It means the business now supplies its Lintz Hall Premier Quality and Derwent Valley brands to Asda, Morrisons, Tesco supermarkets and Express outlets, Nisa and Costcutter stores across the North East, Borders and South East Scotland as well as scores of independent retailers, restaurants, hotels, cafes and public sector bodies.
Lintz Hall Farm is also the sole supplier of locally-produced free range eggs to both Asda and the big Tesco supermarkets across the region.
Last night Richard, 37, the firm’s sales and marketing director, said the news had come at the end of 12 months of outstanding achievements with the Farmers’ Weekly award, a 10% year-on-year rise in sales at Asda and winning a contract to supply Newcastle University.
He added: “We are really excited to see the Derwent Valley brand launching in Morrisons and Tesco Express. It cements Lintz Hall’s position as the region’s premier egg supplier.
“We are positive that our eggs, which are RSPCA Freedom Food and British Lion Code-endorsed, will prove extremely popular with shoppers, as they have already at the larger Tesco supermarkets.
“It’s another feather in the cap for Lintz Hall Farm as we step forward into a new year and move ahead with our plans for the egg distribution depot at Coldstream and hopefully further success in the Scottish consumer market.”
He said Morrisons had been very keen to get Derwent Valley Free Range Eggs into its stores because of the strong North East connection and the record sales the brand has already achieved in other supermarkets. It is the number-one seller with Tesco.
“If the brand can emulate that success with Morrisons, then we are obviously hopeful that the potential will be there to expand the deal beyond the North East and south east Scotland,” Richard said.
Lintz Hall Farm is the region’s biggest and longest-established egg producer having been set up by Richard and Stephen’s grandfather in the early 1950s at Sunniside, Gateshead, before the venture moved to Burnopfield in 1963.
The egg producer now employs 41 staff and is home to nearly 300,000 laying hens. In September last year Lintz Hall Farm bought out Sunny Hill Free Range Eggs, based at Belford, Northumberland, which included the Oxenrig label at that time stocked by Morrisons.
That brand has now been phased out by Lintz Hall Farm and the Derwent Valley Free Range Egg deal is the first time the firm has worked with Morrisons in its own right.