Margaret Farrelly Wins EU Innovation Award
13th October 2016
At a major event held in European Parliament yesterday, hosted by MEP Elisabeth Köstinger, Copas’ Innovation Prize for Women Farmers Award was presented to Margaret Farrelly from Ireland and Lisa Paganelli from Italy received the Special Achievement Award.
Margaret Farrelly, the Managing Director of O’Egg, won for her innovative projects from her free-range laying hens. She began in 1987 with 150 free-range laying hens and now has 168,000 free-range hens on 150 hectares of land, with a turnover of €6.2 million. She has developed her company, employing 33 people and working with 22 Irish farmers to develop innovative products, including O’Eggs, liquid eggs and Megga eggs.
For example, O’Eggs are presented in coloured packaging which sets them apart, and 5 cents for each pack of O’Eggs going to a cancer charity. Her liquid egg product was immediately picked up by Supervalu (then Superquinn) when it came to market. She has invested in Megga eggs that are naturally enriched with Omega 3, selenium and vitamin E via the hen’s diet. And she has developed a research and development department for innovative products in her company.
Margaret runs the company with her husband Leo (both from Co. Cavan) and she returned to college in 2011 to study Applied Poultry Science to further her knowledge. On her management skills, she told WMB in a 2014 interview “You never know what the next person through the door is going to bring you but I have learned to tell them to bring me more solutions than problems. I am happy to say we have skilled and experienced people in the company so the problems are solved.”