Poultry industry stalwart Colin Saunders has died aged 67, following a period of illness. Mr Saunders had a career spanning four decades in the egg industry, beginning in the late 1960s.
His career in the industry began when he decided the life of a teacher – for which he had been training for three years – was not for him. A job came up on a local poultry farm and Mr Saunders took it as a stopgap.
Almost 20 years later, following a range of farm and management positions in the poultry industry, he was appointed planning manager for Daylay Eggs in 1987 – less than a year before Edwina Currie threw the egg industry into disarray.
He survived this setback to take on more responsibility at Daylay over the next 10 years. This included the gradual build up of contracted free-range farmers from 1993 and the planning challenge this presented.
A string of acquisitions and mergers saw Deans buying Daylay in 1999, and later Deans becoming Noble Foods – each change putting more planning responsibility on Mr Saunders’ desk.
Nigel Butcher, managing director for Hyline, remembered him as an early colleague, but also a friend and mentor. “I first met Colin in 1992 and throughout the years he was very supportive and a great person to work alongside.
“His planning ability was phenomenal and he will be missed by all in our industry. I will miss him a great deal and have fond memories of him and his zest for life.”
Mr Saunders retired in 2010 due to ill health, but picked up two high-profile industry awards. The first was for long service to the egg industry from the Pullet Hatcheries Association in 2012, and the following year he was given a lifetime achievement award from the British Free Range Egg Producers Association, which he received with a sense of humour that friends say was typical: “I am surprised on two counts – firstly that you picked me, and secondly that I am still here.”
Source: Poultry World