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Want to know where your eggs come from?

Eggs are rich with protein. More than half the protein of an egg is found in the egg white along with vitamin B2 and lower amounts of fat than the yolk. Besides protein, eggs are rich sources of selenium, vitamin D, B6 and B12. And another great plus, eggs are a very inexpensive source of all of the above.

But with a massive consumption of eggs across the globe, 12.5 billion alone in the UK, their will be people trying to cheat with origin, misrepresentation of organic etc, to make money on lower products than labelled.

Whole eggs are at low risk of economically motivated adulteration, however they are at a higher risk of being affected by false credence claims, particularly when it comes to “free range” and “organic” claims. In developed countries, like where I live (Denmark), consumers place a premium on animal welfare, free-range, origin, organic etc. But these claims are at risk of fraudulent misrepresentation.

A recent case is with an egg trader from Mijnsheerenland in Zuid-Holland. He has been fined €30,000 for fraud after passing off contaminated eggs as fit for human consumption and battery eggs as free range. The eggs were stamped with fake registration numbers, making it impossible to track their origins. This is not the first time The Netherlands have issues on this matter. In 2017 millions of eggs where destroyed due to a widespread contamination with fipronil (WHO says fipronil is “moderately toxic” to people if it is eaten in large quantities, and can have dangerous effects on the kidneys, liver and thyroid glands).

Example of transparency by Dueholm

With a sector under scrutiny, companies that adopt transparency initiatives for consumers is going to last. One of these is Dueholm Egg, a wholesale company that procure organic eggs from different farms and sell to COOP’s 1.200 stores across Denmark. Dueholm get eggs from 311.000 hens, from a good amount of farms. The couple behind Dueholm, Susanne and Lars Poulsen, are pioneers (at least in Denmark) when it comes to organic eggs. When packing companies turned them down and didn´t want to package their organic eggs, because companies didn´t see the point, then Susanne and Lars just built their own packing facilities!

So how are they transparent? In each packing for the eggs, there is a guide on the inside, on how you can find out where your eggs come from. They number on the egg gives you all of the information. First number tells you if it´s organic, cage and so forth. Then the next numbers tells you which farm it comes from. Then you go to their website and search, and there you will find a short storytelling about the persons who run the farm, and their “why”: why they produce organic eggs.

 

This is very needed feature, when going through the maze of, “how do I know it comes from, where it actually comes from” question. Of curse, there is still a lot there can be added. An easier way to get the information about the supply chain, so I don´t have to sit with an egg in front of my computer/smartphone, and plot in the numbers. How fresh are the eggs, meaning when where the eggs laid by the hen and how long it took from farm to store? And whole lot of other stuff, that can separate companies that are moving forward with the transparency agenda, and doing it a 100%. Because, in the end they are going to be the winners, in a changing landscape where consumers want to what and how the food they eat, is produced and under which conditions the hens live by.

 

Photo by Miki Fath on Unsplash

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