New Zealand’s poultry industry is to vote on compulsory egg stamping in the next few days following a scam involving caged eggs being sold as free-range.
Michael Brooks, head of the New Zealand Egg Federation, said the industry was looking to increase its self-regulation and will vote next week to introduce compulsory egg stamping.
It will mean that eggs will be stamped with unique codes at the source of laying, which will be able to be traced online by consumers.
Mr Brooks told media in New Zealand that its board would vote on introducing the idea at its meeting on 13 July with the scheme being rolled out over the next year.
“The focus is looking at an egg stamping with a farm identified and a production identifier, a number system which is used internationally to identify a product so that consumers are able to go to a website and see where it is from.”
The move follows ongoing investigations into Palace Poultry, which found that the brand is believed to have sold millions of caged eggs in free-range packaging in supermarkets in Upper North Island.
The New Zealand Serious Fraud Office is still investigating the business after the country’s Commerce Commission past it to them.
There is no legal definition of “free-range” in New Zealand and as a result there are a number of independent accreditation schemes.