The AOP is the first to be developed under our new Strategic Plan and is an important first step in the new strategic direction of Australian Eggs. It has been structured to be accessible to egg farmers, with the lynch pin being 29 programs that have clear outcomes and reflect both the Key Focus Areas in the Strategic Plan and the priorities identified by stakeholders.
In short, these programs seek to:
The AOP includes a new Evaluation Framework that will provide for greater transparency over our activities and, through ongoing monitoring and annual evaluation reporting, greater accountability of Australian Eggs.
After many years of debate and consultation, the information standard will bring greater certainty and confidence to egg farmers and consumers across the country.
The new information standard requires eggs sold as free range to be laid by hens that have meaningful and regular access to outdoors during daylight hours, that are able to roam and forage outdoors, and that are subject to a stocking density of a maximum of 10,000 hens per hectare (1 hen per square metre).
To help people understand more about free range egg farming, AECL partnered with a free range farmer who operates at 10,000 hens per hectare to discuss their approach to egg farming and different stocking densities. The video can be found here: youtube.com/watch?v=BQDZJ679PNE
The information standard also requires farmers labelling eggs for wholesale or retail sale to ensure that the outdoor stocking density is prominently displayed on the packaging. This way consumers who are interested in outdoor stocking densities will have all the information they need to make an informed decision.
Further details on the information standard are set out in the Eggsplainer.