After almost 40 years helping to shape the future of the egg industry, Welsh poultry farmer Aled Griffiths OBE has retired from the British Egg Marketing Board (BEMB) Research and Education Trust.

Born in North Wales and having graduated from Aberystwyth University College, Aled and his late wife, Olwen, began farming on the Welsh border in Shropshire in 1955.

During his illustrious career, Aled has represented the UK poultry industry at the highest levels in the UK and Europe and has been the recipient of numerous awards, including an OBE for his services to the poultry industry in 1994 and the International Egg Commission’s most prestigious award, the Denis Wellstead Memorial Trophy for ‘The International Egg Person of the Year’ in 2018, together with the British Egg Industry’s highest award, the ‘Peter Kemp Award for Outstanding Contribution to the British Egg Industry’.

Aled was appointed to the BEMB Trust in 1981 as the NFU Poultry Representative and, when he became Chairman of the NFU Poultry Committee, he was instrumental in obtaining funding for the BEMB Trust to support its research and education programme.

Having completed a Nuffield Farming Scholarship himself in 1974, Aled was actively involved with selection of the BEMB Trust’s Nuffield Poultry Scholars.

It has, he says, been incredibly rewarding to see the BEMB’s financial assistance enabling so many PhD candidates and research facilities to continue sector-leading research across the UK.

“It has been very gratifying for me to look back over my 39 years working for the BEMB Trust and to see that of the 26 Nuffield Poultry Scholars that I was able to help to obtain their scholarships, 20 of them are still very actively working or associated with the poultry industry today.”

“I am delighted to be leaving the BEMB Trust in such good hands, with a great team representing egg producers, together with three eminent scientists, all under the guidance of such an excellent chairman, Dr Martin Shirley CBE, and a very experienced organised and dedicated secretary, Alison Bone. Furthermore, with Investec taking good care of the investments, the BEMB Trust is in very good hands, and long may it continue.” 

Paying tribute, Dr Martin Shirley CBE said that Aled had served with distinction for 39 years, and his colleagues would greatly miss his “wisdom, impeccable technical knowledge and commitment to the betterment of scientific research that underpins egg production.”

He continued, “On behalf of not just the BEMB Trust but also the many individual researchers and institutions who have benefited from your considerable expertise, I offer a big “thank you” and wish you all the very best in the future.”

Duncan Priestner, NFU Poultry Representative, praised his “knowledge, wisdom, and inspiration to the younger generations.”

While BEA egg industry representative Jeff Vergerson said that working with him had been a real pleasure, and his “knowledge, enthusiasm and love for our industry made meetings more productive.”

BEMB Trust Secretary, Alison Bone, said “You have been an inspirational, wise and passionate advocate for the British egg industry, from those early days when you were the NFU Poultry Representative to the EU, and to our working together on the BEMB. I have learned from you and respect your knowledge.”

Nuffield Poultry Scholar, James Corbett, commented, “Over the years you have inspired many people, like myself, to bigger and better things in the poultry industry. I and others will always remember your wisdom and experience.”