Want to know exactly where your eggs come from? Countdown starts traceability stamping own brand free range eggs
The humble egg has always been a source of great debate, whether it came before or after the chicken, or whether it’s best fried sunny-side-up or down, poached, boiled or scrambled. But for Countdown customers, there is now one less egg mystery to solve - where your free range eggs were laid.
From today, Countdown has introduced egg stamping on all its own brand of free range eggs, ensuring full traceability from farm to plate. The new stamp uses food grade ink, which is safe to eat and will not affect the egg, and prints a Countdown logo and code on each egg at the farm, right after being laid and before packaging.
Customers can then go online to www.countdown.co.nz/eggs to see where the egg has come from and to learn a little more about the farm. Currently Countdown’s own brand free range eggs are sourced from Waianakarua Free Range Farm in North Otago.
Nikhil Sawant, Countdown’s Head of Perishables, says that increasingly customers want more detailed information about the origins of their food.
“Our customers want to know where their food comes from, particularly if their purchasing decision is based on animal welfare. The quality, safety and integrity of the products we sell on our shelves is paramount to us, and by stamping our eggs we want to provide that next level of traceability for our customers too,” says Nikhil Sawant.
“We have always audited our own brand egg suppliers and over the last two years we have also audited all free range eggs that we stock on our shelves, and independently verified traceability from the farm right through the supply chain.
“We are now proud to be the first supermarket to stamp our own brand of free range eggs, giving customers that extra assurance that our eggs are verified as free range and that their journey is traceable,” says Nikhil.
Countdown was the first national retailer to announce it will move to barn-laid or free range eggs on-shelf by the end of 2024 in the North Island and 2025 in the South Island. It has also committed to selling only free range and barn eggs in its own brand labels by the end of 2022.
In July 2016, Countdown launched its Egg Producers Programme to ensure that farmers can produce the extra 150 million free range and barn eggs each year needed to meet the needs of our customers by our target dates.
“Customer demand for free range and barn eggs has increased by 50 per cent in the last couple of years. We have been and are continuing to work closely with our egg farmers to build up supply, and to help give them the confidence to invest in expanding or converting their farms for the coming years,“ says Nikhil Sawant.