In the hot seat

Eileen Hall, Cavanagh Free-Range Eggs

TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF

I am a director of Cavanagh Free-Range

Eggs, a family business I run with my

husband. We have two boys aged 13 and 14.

WHAT DOES A TYPICAL DAY INVOLVE?

There’s no typical day, every day is different.

I could be exhibiting at a trade show one

day and egg grading the next or in the office

doing the books.

WHAT HAS BEEN THE HIGHLIGHT OF

YOUR CAREER TO DATE?

Winning a series of awards for our freerange

eggs, including two gold stars in the

recent Great Taste awards, an Irish Quality

Food and Drink Award and the Grow Make

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Q&A

Eat Drink Award for the Best Artisan/Micro

Food Producer. The Flavour of the North has

been a very exciting journey for us. It’s run by

Henderson Foodservice. We were also named

Chef’s Larder Choice in the Blas na hEireann

Awards in Dingle.

WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT

YOUR JOB?

I love meeting people and telling them about

our wonderful free-range hens, how happy they

are roaming about the picturesque Fermanagh

countryside, and the great taste of our awardwinning

eggs.

WHAT IS YOUR MOST DIFFICULT TASK?

Time management! I always seem to be in a

rush and there’s just not enough hours in the

day to do everything I need to do.

WHAT IS THE BEST ADVICE YOU HAVE

EVER RECEIVED?

It would have to be a quote from Charles

Darwin: “It’s not the strongest nor the most

intelligent of the species that survive: it is the

one that is most adaptable to change.”

WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST GRIPE?

Slow Internet connections; a serious problem

in Fermanagh. It’s a problem for our business.

WHAT TALENT WOULD YOU LIKE TO

HAVE?

I would love to be able to sing but

unfortunately I wasn’t blessed with a singing

voice.

WHAT ARE YOUR FUTURE PLANS/

AMBITIONS?

Continue to grow Cavanagh Free-Range Eggs

and strive to be the best we can be, producing

quality free-range eggs with lots of flavour

from our happy hens. We have another 50%

of extra free-range egg production coming

on-stream in the next 12 months to keep up

with demand for our multi-award-winning

eggs, which are now on sale in Asda and

Tesco.

WHOM DO YOU MOST ADMIRE?

My dad has always been an inspiration to

me. He is a very intelligent man even though

he left school at the age of 14. He worked

in Canada for 10 years as a miner. Then

he returned home to Ireland and started

farming. He got nothing handed to him

and he built up his farm from no land to

300 acres over a period of 20 years. He is

76 years old now and has no intention of

retiring. He is working as hard as ever and

intends to do so for as long as he is able. He

buys and sells livestock along with farming

and goes to Cork every week to buy calves to

order. He has built up his customer base over

the past 45 years and I don’t know anyone

who would have a bad word about him. He

looks out for us all. Mum and dad have six

children who are all married with children of

our own.

WHERE IS YOUR FAVOURITE PLACE?

I would have to say Fermanagh! It’s an

absolutely beautiful place to live.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE FOOD

PRODUCT?

Eggs of course. They are so versatile and a

meal in themselves. You would never starve

when you have them.

HOW DO YOU RELAX?

I go for the odd walk and I enjoy cycling with

the family. I also love to dance.

 

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