AGRICULTURE minister Kim Chance has praised the vision behind the establishment of a state-of-the-art egg production facility near Gingin.
Opening the AAA Egg Company's facility at Neergabby last week, Mr Chance said the farm was the result of vision shown by a group of business people who recognised that the changes in their market place required changes in their operation to achieve growth and success.
"It is gratifying to see a rural business making this type of cutting-edge investment - one that will provide the company with new opportunities for growth, both domestically and internationally," the Minister said.
"This attitude will be vital for the continued success of Western Australia's agricultural industries into the future."
The company was formed in 1998 by a group of seven farmers with the desire to pool their resources so they could develop a revolutionary egg production facility.
The group realised their existing facilities would not be sufficient for the challenges facing them as they headed towards the 21st century. By combining into one company, they were able to upgrade their facilities to world's best standards.
Junction Bridge Farm is the first completely new site of its kind in Australia and now houses approximately 30 percent of the state's laying hens, producing seven million dozen eggs per year.
The farm occupies a 160ha site, with capacity for further expansion to cater for industry growth and the introduction of new participants.
The facilities feature state-of-the-art technology allowing for production of eggs under the best conditions, both in terms of productivity requirements and the physical welfare of the birds.
Mr Chance said the $14 million investment allowed the AAA Egg Company to be a nationally competitive, low-cost producer, with significant potential for enhanced profitability.
"This will be increasingly important in the future as retailers increasingly source their eggs nationally, thus AAA will great assist in ensuring local demand for eggs is supplied locally," he said.
"In turn this will help maintain orderly marketing and supply/demand management in WA, which has helped give this state the stability to become the nation's leading egg exporter."
Mr Chance said AAA would also be able to share in export opportunities with Golden Egg Farms. Currently export sales overseas accounted for approximately eight percent of WA's total egg production and were growing.
The establishment of Junction Bridge Farm had also resulted in employment in a rural area and the relocation of a significant number of old farms, nearly all of which were in areas of suburban encroachment.