Meet Mr Ma Chin Chew

N&N Agriculture

Obstacles to overcome

Since beginning his career in farming, Mr Ma Chin Chew has weathered numerous adversities with grit and tenacity. After his father met with a serious accident, Chin Chew eschewed a bright career in the Navy to take over his family business, dealing in the import and slaughtering of chickens.

His family factories burnt down in a blaze in 2000, leading Chin Chew to a crossroad in his life; undeterred, he re-opened the plant in the same year at double the capacity. 

In 2010, Chin Chew took over N&N Agriculture, pioneering the production of pasteurised eggs in Singapore. Under his leadership, the business has grown to become one of Singapore’s most established egg farms.

Hatching new solutions

The indefatigable Chin Chew elaborates on the grit and innovative thinking necessary for an egg farm to flourish.

What’s the biggest challenge you faced starting out? Image

What’s the biggest challenge you faced starting out?

At N&N, you have to deal with the pressure of selling on a daily basis. You can’t go to your hens and say “Hens, please stop laying eggs!” And eggs will rot and spoil if you keep them for too long. We’ll soon be producing 700,000 eggs a day, so there’s pressure to sell that volume.

What current challenges do you face on a daily basis? Image

What current challenges do you face on a daily basis?

You have issues cropping up every day. Delivery issues lah, machines not operating lah… You can’t really plan for what you’re going to face — every day is different.

What skill sets have helped you as CEO of N&N? Image

What skill sets have helped you as CEO of N&N?

I’m a graduate in electronic and electrical engineering, and majored in computer communications. That helped me a lot when it came to adopting the technology and equipment. Equipment can be costly, so apprehending what our situation is, and whether it is suitable for our needs is really important.

What personality traits does one need to succeed in farming? Image

What personality traits does one need to succeed in farming?

Being successful at farming is less about money or technology, and more about passion. There’re 1001 things that you have to tackle every day as a farmer, and you always have to expect the unexpected. Technology is just the hardware…but passion is the ‘software’ that keeps you going.

A day in the life

“Without passion for farming I wouldn’t be in this industry,” Chin Chew says with a chuckle, when asked about how he tackled the numerous challenges faced in his career. “I think the Navy helped me to develop a sense of positivity...”

Chin Chew’s morning is spent managing the operations at N&N, and brainstorming on processes that can be further automated. He spends the rest of the day speaking with his vets and heads of department to gain deeper insights into daily operations, and ensuring that egg packing and processing are in order.

Food for thought

Chin Chew elaborates on the technology that keeps N&N ticking.

Ensuring pristine produce

Modern egg farming can be a massive undertaking — especially on the scope of N&N. The firm employs computer sensors to make sure that eggs with hairline cracks, dirt or bloodspots don’t make their way to supermarket shelves, and that only the highest quality produce goes from farm to table.

Welfare and productivity

While eggs may seem like a lightweight problem to the layman, handling can be a tricky issue to tackle.

At N&N, eggs are usually packed in boxes and loaded in baskets or stacked in trays, making it heavy for older workers to carry throughout the day. To Chin Chew, automation of this process is less about profit, and more about the welfare of his staff.

The art of pasteurising eggs

To keep eggs safe and fit for consumption, N&N pasteurises a selected portion of its eggs. Heating the eggs at a very precise temperature kills off salmonella and bird flu virus that may be present inside and outside the eggs, without cooking the eggs during the process.

N&N’s myriad egg products include N&N fresh eggs, Egg Story pasteurised fresh eggs and Egg Story pasteurised egg products (Japanese-style ramen eggs, Tamagoyaki, hard boiled eggs, poached eggs & pasteurised liquid eggs).

N&N fresh eggs can be found at major supermarkets. To purchase pasteurised fresh shell eggs, check the chiller section at selected outlets of major supermarkets, or online at RedMart and Amazon.

As for Tamagoyaki and Japanese-style soft yolk eggs, you may find the full list of retailers here.

N&N Agriculture

You might also enjoy these