Burnbrae Farms is a national and international supplier of eggs and egg products. It is a fifthgeneration family business based in Lyn, Ontario with divisions in British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec.
Joe Hudson is Chairman and CEO, while his daughter Margaret Hudson is company President, while three other Hudson family members are in senior positions in the 100%-Canadian company.
How it began
Scottish migrant Joseph Hudson came to Canada in the late 1800s with his family. In 1891, he purchased a 100-acre dairy farm in beautiful Lyn, Ontario, near Brockville. As a salute to his homeland, Joseph named the farm “Burnbrae” – “Burn” is Scottish for “stream,” while “Brae” means “hillside.” Over the years, the farm prospered and grew.
In the 1940s, the Hudsons expanded into the egg business – and the operation never looked back. Today, thanks to its partnerships with independent farmers,
Burnbrae Farms is Canada’s largest family owned and operated egg product distributor and its trucks proudly displaying the slogan “Eggs for Life” deliver to grocery stores, restaurants, food service operations and Burnbrae FARMS homes across the nation. Burnbrae Farms eggs and egg products are found coast-tocoast in Canada and are even exported to other countries.
Jason Hinton is Senior Director of Purchasing and Distribution for Burnbrae Farms, and is responsible for the company’s trucking fleet. He also serves on the PMTC Board of Directors, and has done so for the past eight years.
According to Jason, Burnbrae Farms runs 110 power units and 140 reefer trailers, while employing 130 drivers. He says, “Everyone at Burnbrae Farms takes pride in our fleet. You’ll notice our units rolling down the road are clean, well-maintained, and well-branded. Our drivers are professionally dressed in company uniforms and are well-schooled in friendly, professional customer service. We proudly partner with reliable service providers to ensure that we offer our customers safe, timely trucking.”
Safety is paramount
“Safety is absolutely paramount for us at Burnbrae Farms,” notes Jason. “We consistently review our carrier profiles and driver abstracts, and we are rigorous in our accident/incident process. We adhere to hours-of-service regulations and were in the forefront of e-log usage, beginning about eight years ago.
“We routinely hold driver meetings at which there is always a focus on safety.”
Jason states, “Fortunately, we haven’t had to concern ourselves very much with the driver recruitment issue. We have traditionally had a low turnover rate (around 1.5%) and boast many long-time drivers, some of whom have been with us for 30+ years. Our drivers are happy in their careers and very satisfied with their work loads and equipment. We have been extremely fortunate to have so many high-quality individuals who have represented the company values on the road and at the customer for many years. Having said that, these same drivers will be retiring in the near future and driver recruitment will be something we must begin looking at very closely.”
One method of driver recruitment Burnbrae Farms is considering is developing drivers from within the company. According to Jason, “We’ll be canvassing employees from our farms and plants to see whether they would like to transition into driving. They understand our business and our company culture, so we feel this is a great way to begin recruiting new drivers.”
A challenge for new drivers is the new MELT program, which can be quite costly for anyone learning how to become a professional truck driver. Notes Jason,
“We are exploring ways we can help these new drivers via financial assistance, which should serve as an enticement for someone wanting to transition into this
new, exciting and important career.”
Corporate Social Responsibility
Jason proudly states, “Burnbrae Farms has a very detailed CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) strategy, which includes giving back to the communities in which we do business, the proper treatment of our hens, and caring for our environment.
A firm believer in giving back to the communities in which it operates, Burnbrae Farms contributes to a host of local, national and international charities including Parkinson Canada, University of Guelph, World Vision and The Grocery Foundation.
Burnbrae Farms’ core values and guiding principles dictate that we treat our animals in a safe and humane manner and work to continuously improve our animal welfare practices as more scientific research and other evidence become available. We sponsor a professorship in Animal Welfare at the University of Guelph.
Regarding the environment, the company has set waste diversion and GHG (greenhouse gas) targets that are constantly monitored. Six years ago, it began adding side-skirts to all company trailers. In an effort to cut fuel usage, in 2017, Burnbrae Farms decided to equip all new trucks trucks with automatic transmissions. Idling is monitored on a weekly basis. In the near future, says Jason, they will be looking at the use of super-single tires and the environmental
benefits they provide.
Jason is very clear on what membership in the Private Motor Truck Council of Canada has meant for Burnbrae Farms. He asserts, “I don’t know how I would stay current on new regulations coming from governments and manufacturers, as well as the new technology inundating our industry if it wasn’t for the PMTC. Without the PMTC, where would I find this information? I’d have to explore dozens of resources.
“We have a wonderful relationship with the Council and its President, Mike Millian, who knows the industry inside out.
“I’ve enjoyed serving on the PMTC’s board. I’ve learned a lot and met many wonderful people from the private trucking industry. Burnbrae Farms sees a lot of value in our relationship with this great organization.”