Stamps on eggs set to make it easier for Kiwis to identify caged from free range

Kiwis who are partial to an egg or two will soon be able to know more easily where the nuggets of white and yellow goodness come from, through stamps on the shell.

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The egg industry’s voluntary stamping regime starts in July. Source: Seven Sharp

The stamps have a code which shoppers can look up online where they'll be able to tell, for instance, whether the eggs they're eyeing up were produced in a cage or are free range.

New Zealanders consume a billion eggs a year which makes our country one of the largest consumers of eggs per capita in the world.

The stamping regime is voluntary but has the buy-in of those responsible or almost 80 per cent of the country's total egg production.

It follows a number of allegations of cage and colony eggs being sold as "free range".

"There has been, I guess a couple of bad eggs in the industry and what we are trying to do here is give a real level of integrity and assurance to customers that what they are paying for is what they are getting.” says Michael Brooks from the Egg Producers Federation.

Chris Martin of Wairarapa Free Range Eggs used to be a baker but now has a flock producing 20,000 eggs a day.

He says that for consumers who want the assurance they are buying free range, stamping the egg of origin is "fair enough".

He says his farm has nothing to hide and has no problem with being transparent and open.

His eggs are packed with a farm-specific code which can then be entered online to provide further information about origin.

He says he’s proud of what the code points to.

"My eggs, my code and my farm."