Victoria’s largest free-range egg farm – Green Eggs, at Great Western – is being sold so that its founders, Alan and Shelley Green, can retire.
The offering includes the company outfit as well as the 484-hectare freehold.
“The business generates high cash flow, is very profitable and has considerable scope and potential for immediate expansion under a new ownership,” Rodwells Ruralco director Max Brown said.
Mr Green added that after beginning his rural career on outback stations in far west Queensland he elected to return to Victoria “to marry his sweetheart Shelley” and along the way purchased the freehold of an undeveloped and low producing farm block at Great Western.
The property produced wool, lambs and beef, but the Greens decided to diversify and get into free-range egg production, in about 1999 – investing to buy 2000 hens.
Today, Green Eggs runs 25,000 hens on the farm “although there is space and potential to run a lot more”, Mr Green added.
“We currently sell all of the 12,500 dozen eggs that we produce each week mainly via our specialist distributor in Melbourne, who undertakes the delivery runs and supply tasks.
“Green Eggs are also sold to a limited number of retailers while participation in up to eleven farmers’ market each week has also been very successful in building our brand through customer contact.
“The business currently operates with an effective full-time staff of twelve many of whom are long term employees and live in the local village of Great Western or come from the adjacent larger centres of Ararat and Stawell.
“The location offers a very high degree of Bio-security for disease control” Mr Green said, adding that the farm includes internal fencing, dam construction, rabbit and erosion control and Landcare works.
Green Eggs was the first egg producer in the industry to be accredited under the Australian Egg Corporation Accreditation Program and still holds the original ESA1001 registration number.
Mr Green said he has deliberately stayed away from supplying the two major supermarket chains because of “their focus on continually pressing suppliers to reduce their prices”.
“But we do supply a number of smaller retail outlets including green grocers and specialty or premium food stores where we have built long trading relationships,” he added.
Mr Brown expects interest from participants in the egg industry, and from farmers who, like the Greens, want to diversify.
The broker said that the farm’s production scale could be increased using the existing facilities and the land area.
The offer for sale of Green Eggs Pty Ltd is on a walk-in-walk-out basis inclusive of all buildings, plant and equipment, producing hens together with all the intellectual property.
It is expected to sell for between $4 million and $5 million.