The humble egg — probably one of the most nutritious foods on the planet — made a massive comeback when the country went into lockdown back in March.
And, despite a slump in product demand across the restaurant and food service sector, eggs sales boomed in retails outlets across the country since.
Riverview Eggs, a family owned and run Cork company which has been supplying their Bord Bia quality assured eggs to Irish consumers for over 50 years, decided to get cracking, as they say, and established an online platform that provides instructional recipe dishes featuring their award-winning eggs.
The series, entitled, ‘Get Cracking with Eggs’ features 16 easy to make recipes and are available to view on the company’s website and across Riverview Eggs various social media channels.
“We wanted to create something that would be useful for families and students,” Riverview Eggs owner DJ Kelleher said.
“We understand it is a stressful time at the moment and we wanted to do our bit to try to and offer something that we felt would be of use.
"Get Cracking With Eggs is really back to basics when it comes to cooking.
Meanwhile, eggs provide the additional benefit of vitamin D in the diet and a recent study by the Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing (TILDA) published in conjunction with Trinity College Dublin (TCD) showed up to one in eight older adults in Ireland are deficient in Vitamin D.
Numbers increase to one in five during the winter months because of decreasing amounts of sunlight.
The study also revealed that one in four Irish people over the age of 70 who are cocooning are likely to be vitamin D deficient.
Studies have shown that in addition to assisting with immune function and aiding bone and muscle health, vitamin D may also help to prevent respiratory infections.
Mr Kelleher said that as well as the cost-effective elements and the easy to make recipes, the series also afforded the company an opportunity to highlight the nutritional and health benefits associated with eggs.
“It’s a vulnerable time for people and we feel that it’s important to highlight these benefits because they have scientific research and backing behind them,” he continued.
“We wanted to illustrate throughout this very simple recipe series the versatility of eggs, in addition to the health benefits associated with them, particularly in the current climate,” he said.
Riverview Eggs is the only large producer and packer of eggs outside the Cavan/Monaghan area where the Irish poultry concentration is.
Mr Kelleher says that while Covid-19 brought challenges to the business, it was able to keep going because of the demand for products in the retail sector.
“Overnight the food service side of our business turned off but the retail side picked up that shortfall and we were lucky because of our location.
The Kellehers carried out a full review of the business when the pandemic struck.
Riverview Eggs is part of the Bord Bia Sustainable Egg Assurance Scheme (SEAS), a code of best practice covering both the production and packing of eggs.
Eggs that are produced and packed in accordance with the requirements of the code are eligible to carry the Quality Assured logo on packs, and on point of sale materials in the case of loose sales.
“Built into all of that is the principles of the Origin Green Sustainability Charter and Riverview Eggs is part of this since it first started five or six years ago,” Mr Kelleher added.
“Each year you have to review your Charter, plans, submissions and track all of your sustainability levels, it’s a five year plan and ended in 2019 so we had just completed a new plan in February 2020.
“Part of that was pre-Covid-19 and one of the biggest aspects was biosecurity.
“We engaged with Gerald Farry, State virologist, to see how we could best improve biosecurity on all our farms — so all of that had to be done because of the Avian Flu.
“In relation to Coivid-19 we had to implement all the protocols around the Health Service Executive (HSE) and the Health and Safety (HSA) — staff coming in, temperature checking, PPE, etc.
“I want to take the opportunity to thank all the staff for their dedication and hard work throughout this time.”