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Business initiative to guard excessive commonplace of cage-free eggs in China

Rising demand for cage-free eggs in China has prompted the event of an industry-leading certification scheme to safe provide chain transparency

calendar icon 5 June 2024

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3 minute learn

In 2021, China’s first group commonplace on cage-free egg manufacturing was revealed by the China Chain Retailer & Franchise Affiliation and up to date two years later. The group that wrote the usual, led by IQC, FAI and Intertek, is now introducing a certification scheme – and already seeing encouraging outcomes.

In little greater than a yr, 17 cage-free laying hen farms in China are licensed, representing 500,000 birds, with over half of those increasing their cage-free manufacturing permitting extra laying hens to reside in a excessive welfare cage-free atmosphere.

A world-leading Normal

The publication of the Normal adopted an in-depth take a look at cage-free farms in China to construct a strong basis for establishing a dependable and relevant commonplace and technical information. In consequence, the Normal covers facets of manufacturing resembling laying hens’ behavioural wants and dietary necessities, welfare coaching for farm employees, the adoption of standardized farm administration and primary meals security necessities for egg merchandise.

Concerned with writing the usual, FAI CEO Øistein Thorsen stated, “The time was proper to determine finest apply. It’s driving enhancements throughout an {industry} reworking itself from caged to cage-free farming.”

The ‘cage free’ label was registered in China by IQC permitting it to authorise licensed farms to make use of the label on egg packaging.

With greater than 2,000 worldwide retailers, together with 150 corporations in China, committing to sourcing 100% cage-free eggs by 2025, cage-free egg certification is enabling farms to produce a number of worldwide and home manufacturers in cities throughout China and abroad.

Certification aids transparency

However because the cage-free egg market grows in China, there’s concern some producers may promote caged eggs as cage free to fulfill elevated demand or promote cage-free eggs past their manufacturing functionality.

Equally, patrons might place caged eggs as cage-free eggs to fulfil orders and save procurement prices. To guard in opposition to each these eventualities, IQC launched a cage-free egg traceability system in early 2024.

The system can management each the manufacturing and gross sales ranges of a licensed farm. When the system detects gross sales exceeding the farm’s manufacturing capability, IQC is alerted.

The system produces anti-counterfeit traceability codes to observe the circulation of cage-free eggs. The codes are printed by IQC and supplied to licensed producers to be used on egg packaging, with the variety of codes managed in response to the farm’s manufacturing capability.

Consumers and customers can scan the code to see detailed certification info of the egg producer.

“This can be a large step ahead for the event of cage-free eggs in China,” stated Dr. Chaunwu Xiong, CEO at IQC. “The certification scheme and supporting traceability helps preserve a reliable market and permits patrons and customers to supply dependable cage-free eggs. Consciousness amongst customers of ‘cage free’ indicating ‘top quality, wholesome and secure’ is rising in order demand rises, we hope and anticipate increasingly more laying hens in China to expertise the upper welfare situations of cage-free programs.”

To search out out extra, contact [email protected].

Licensed farms introducing larger welfare multi-tier barn programs

Among the many newly licensed cage-free laying hen farms in China, six are utilizing a multi-tier barn system. Using a number of tiers inside a barn permits laying hens to reveal pure behaviours. Hens begin the day on perches within the prime the barn, working their manner down via every tier throughout sunlight hours to eat, drink, lay eggs within the nesting bins and at last exit to pasture at floor degree. An instance of such a excessive welfare system in the USA, is proven right here. This video was produced for coaching functions for Chinese language egg corporations and types working to increase cage-free manufacturing.

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