Tamarix Poultry Farm are your egg supplier of choice.
Our Australian-owned and family-run business supplies to some of Australia’s top food traders: from quality restaurants, cafés and bakeries all the way through to takeaway outlets and independent supermarkets.
At Tamarix, we promise you a reliable delivery of quality eggs at wholesale prices, for the ultimate trade ‘eggsperience’.
Like many others post-World War 2, Agostino ‘Gus’ Postregna immigrated to Australia from north east Italy, near the Slovenian border, to make a new life in Australia.
He worked at many hard and menial jobs as he and his wife Alma raised a family and, in the early 1960s, leased a property in Keysborough producing both chickens and eggs.
Their hard work paid off and, in partnerships with extended family, including Gus’ brothers Julian and Damian, they purchased more land, and moved into egg and poultry production in the same area. In the early 1970s the family members followed separate paths – although all remained connected to the poultry industry.
As Melbourne continued its expansion, Gus, Alma and their family relocated further out to a new farm at fast-growing Dandenong South Area. This remains the home of Tamarix Poultry Farm Pty Ltd although the business has now expanded even further in the region.
Today Tamarix Poultry Farm is operated by Gus and Alma’s son Andrew Postregna and his wife Lisa who met as Business Studies students at university. Andrew’s siblings also continue in the industry although not at Tamarix Poultry Farm. In 2006, with the sheds more than 20 years old and Gus not getting any younger, Tamarix faced a major decision of whether to continue with egg production or not. The outcome, fortunately was ‘yes’ and the commitment to the future was underpinned by Andrew and Lisa’s significant investment in new sheds, feed systems, and grading and packing equipment. There’s even a shop called White & Yolk fronting the secure production facilities, drawing a high volume of passing outer suburban commuters in to buy eggs, fresh pasta and poultry products, or have breakfast or lunch.
Tamarix Poultry Farm remains staunchly independent, growing its own replacement birds and, utilising nutritional consultants, formulating and mixing its own feed on-site. Andrew and Lisa had already purchased a former broiler site in nearby Cranbourne West, and more recently took over another farm at Langwarrin South.
Andrew and Lisa are assisted by 22 staff in total.
Sales are focused on Australia’s top food traders: from quality restaurants, cafés and bakeries all the way through to takeaway outlets and independent supermarkets. With a strong marketing accent on egg freshness and quality, and customer service driven by word of mouth and personal recommendation.
As a family-operated egg producer, Andrew Postregna is influenced by the industry’s big issues including flock health and biosecurity – AI – and preserving consumer choice in the fresh egg market, as well as the usual challenges for small businesses everywhere.
“Everything is getting harder – there are always more rules and regulations, biosecurity and disease issues and, especially over the last 10-15 years, animal activism,” Andrew commented.
Avian influenza is always a risk but we’re seeing some of the ‘old’ diseases we thought had gone, like spotty liver, coming back, he explained. Infectious Laryngotracheitis (ILT) is another one which, while it can be vaccinated against, appeared to mutate to a new strain which spreads easily through dust and feathers.
The Dandenong area naturally has a number of water courses, drainage lines and swamps, an environment further compounded by the planning regulations to incorporating ornamental lakes in both industrial and residential developments. This provides additional habitat for water birds but, Andrew suggests, it also increases the risk of disease crossover into poultry flocks – especially free range birds. This is one of the reasons he still supports the cage system – lower disease risks and mortality.
He says there is a high demand for eggs and concedes that cage eggs have lost some market share in that direction. He believes the Free Range movement is starting to plateau, but expects demand will continue, serviced by smaller Free Range enterprises. However, he believes the public gets a biased picture of the different production systems. Andrew believes his birds enjoy a lower disease rate, and lower stress levels.
“There will always be a pecking order but the stronger and weaker birds get attached to each other, they know each other – you can see it,” he observed.
Andrew suggests the European protocol referring to “standard” eggs would be fairer.
Operating on the fringe of a metropolis there will also always be the issue of living with neighbours. Tamarix mostly shares the landscape with light industrial factories and warehouses, however there is also a significant retirement village with about 700 residents close by. Andrew observes that, these days, local government doesn’t seem to want poultry farms and management of the retirement village expressed some concerns as the flock was expanded. However Andrew says there are no issues with the village’s residents, many of who have become customers and regulars at the White & Yolk. This is aided by a highly effective manure drying system, specially designed ‘chimney stacks’ to exhaust air from the sheds, and the regular removal of manure – up to 80 cubic metres weekly being delivered to nurseries and other horticultural enterprises. This, together with effective screening of the sheds, also minimises fly problems.
Like the egg industry itself, in 2015 Tamarix Poultry Farm moved on significantly from the enterprise which it was established as, and is now a second generation business with a future-oriented plan and a diversified operating platform. Nevertheless it is still a ‘family farm’ committed to the egg industry and supplying quality food to its many customers.