AECL Managing Director, Rowan McMonnies, said that the new program will replace the current industry scheme, Egg Corp Assured (ECA), and help egg farmers to clearly demonstrate that they are meeting the requirements of regulators and customers in the key areas of hen welfare, egg quality, biosecurity, food safety, work health and safety and environmental management.
“By undertaking an extensive consultation process with egg farmers and their customers, we have been able to deliver a clearer and more objective set of compliance standards that reflect current customer and regulatory requirements,” Mr McMonnies said.
“ESA has also been structured in three levels of quality assurance to enable a broader range of egg farmers to join the program at a level that suits their business needs and customer requirements. With this structure, we hope to encourage consistent quality assurance outcomes across the industry, as egg farmers transition through the levels over time,” he said.
“We are hoping ESA will stand tall as the leading QA program for the egg industry and reduce the need for the growing number of different standards. The goal is higher quality assurance and lower compliance costs for the industry and the consumer.
“Of course quality assurance is not static and a review will be undertaken in 2018 to work through what’s working well and any scope for improvement. ESA will also incorporate regulatory developments including the new information standard for free range egg farming and the outcome of the Animal Welfare Standards and Guidelines for Poultry,” he said.
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