R.Thompson & Son (Armagh) Ltd, trading as Farmlay Eggs, is a long established egg producer and packing company based in Armagh. We were established in 1913.
The 4th generation of the Thompson family continue to work and grow the business while retaining that personal approach which has ensured our customers keep coming back to the people they know and trust to meet their needs.
We operate from a modern 56,000 sq. ft. packaging and production facility in the heart of Northern Ireland; the company has two distinct and highly successful business divisions.
The first under the well-established and trusted Farmlay Eggs brand name. The company packs 5 million eggs each week of which 60% are Free Range, Barn and Organic.
Around 45% of these packaged eggs travel to GB-based wholesalers and supermarkets throughout England, Scotland and Wales – selling to consumers as either Farmlay Eggs or under ‘own label’ brand names. The remainder of the 5 million eggs packed weekly in Armagh serve both large and small local retailers, bakeries and other customers throughout Ireland.
We have also developed a Pasteurised Egg division alongside our egg packing business which is producing a high quality pasteurised liquid egg, which is supplied to bakeries and food service customers.
History of the business...
Richard Thompson was a traditional dairyman and he had been delivering milk around Armagh with his pony and cart. Then he slowly got involved in the egg business which he worked alongside his daily deliveries. We have records which date back to October 1897 showing his dealings in the egg business.
Richard’s son David left school aged 15 in 1913 and decided to join his father’s line of work - this led to them creating R. Thompson & Son - the focus then moved more towards eggs. Around this time they decided to also purchase a steam engine which they used to start threshing corn for farmers around their local Armagh area.
It was these connections with local farmers that became one of their great strengths and helped them to grow the egg business. The father and son were soon travelling around the various farms, purchasing their surplus eggs to sell at the egg market in Armagh.
As the business developed there were requirements to test and grade all eggs. The first premises away from the family farm were acquired in Dobbin Street, Armagh.
As the years moved on, so the next generation came along. David Senior’s two sons, David Junior and Sammy, both entered the business after finishing school. Together they have built upon the solid foundation which had been laid down for them by their grandfather and father.
Today we still hold to the same principles, we recognise that our farmers are the key to helping us provide the high quality eggs that our customers have come to expect from us.