• Jason Pennellier

Covid: 'Chickens can't be furloughed,' egg farm warns

Tens of thousands of free-range eggs are being donated to food banks by a farm which has seen demand plummet.

St Ewe farm in Cornwall is home to 180,000 laying hens, but orders from the hospitality sector have dried up.

The farm has begun a campaign to avoid throwing them away, pointing out that hens "can't be furloughed".

It is selling trays at a reduced rate and donating a carton to a food bank or community kitchen for each sale.

Bex Tonks, CEO of St Ewe said the "Shell Out to Help Out" campaign gave 20,000 eggs away last week.

"You can't furlough chickens," she said, adding that it was "really important to feed those who need it most".

Ms Tonks said: "All the businesses are in a similar situation, it's not just the farming industry.

"It makes everybody think differently, think sideways and work out different ways of being proactive."

She said the eggs were being distributed with help from local organisations including The Chaos Group and The Hive Cornwall and the support had been "quite incredible and very humbling".

She added that they would be "delighted" for more local firms to get involved.

"It's tough times but we're all looking forward," she said.

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