Individually stamped Woodland eggs traces back to farm
Free range egg lovers can trace the origin of their egg back to the farm where it was laid.
Zeagold eggs, the company that operates the Woodland brand will launch New Zealand's first free range eggs that bear individual stamps of origin.
Michael Guthrie, managing director of Mainland Poultry, owners of Zeagold, said recent issues surrounding the verification of free range eggs had prompted the introduction of a system that tracked the provenance of each egg.
Earlier this year Woodland was caught up in a Serious Fraud Office (SFO) investigation into Palace Poultry, the egg supplier which was found to be selling millions of caged eggs as free range.
* Woodland said it ceased purchases when it learned of SFO investigation
* Millions of caged eggs sold as free range
* Countdown extends free-range egg pledge to include all brands
The SFO investigation found that for at least five years, large numbers of Woodland free range eggs were sourced and packed at Ararimu free range farm, that is associated with Palace Poultry. But Mainland Poultry said it stopped buying the eggs when it learned of the investigation.
Woodland said the marking will be made using food grade ink ensuring the egg was not affected by the stamp.
Egg stamping has been mandatory in the European Union since 2012.
Free range eggs are more expensive to produce and cost twice as much as cage eggs, but Guthrie said demand for free range eggs has been growing strongly in New Zealand.
"As the recent outcry has shown, consumers want to be assured that they get genuine free range eggs," Guthrie said.
Supermarkets sold 20 per cent more free range eggs in the first quarter of the year compared to last year.