November 1st, 2017 saw the egg producer & packer audits commence as part of the new Sustainable Egg Assurance Scheme (SEAS). The ISO 17065 accredited scheme is a revision of the two previous Egg Quality Assurance Scheme (EQAS) Standards; Producer and Rearer & Egg Packing Centre. These schemes were combined into one to become Bord Bia’s third Sustainable Assurance Scheme.
Already, the Sustainable Egg Assurance Scheme comprises over 240 certified members covering 97% of all Irish egg production. Participation in the scheme is voluntary and is open to pullet hen rearers, egg producers and egg packers, ensuring quality and sustainability across the entire egg production chain.
In addition to the longstanding requirements around traceability, animal welfare, biosecurity, pest & rodent control, and food safety management, Scheme members are now required to record data on sustainability, similar to the recently launched Sustainable Beef & Lamb Assurance Scheme (SBLAS) and Sustainable Dairy Assurance Scheme (SDAS). Farmers become members of Origin Green by participating in Bord Bia’s Sustainable Assurance Schemes.
At farm level, Origin Green members are required to maintain records on aspects such as energy use, litter type and feed usage. Packing centres are required to submit sustainability data including electricity use, packaging use, water use and distances incurred from delivery and collection of eggs. In addition to this, packing centres are now required to participate in the Origin Green programme as part of their Sustainable Egg Assurance Scheme (SEAS) membership and commit to a mandatory mix of target areas as specified by the Origin Green Manufacturing Charter.
The data collected from producers and egg packers will be used to calculate the carbon footprint of each member. This is included in a feedback report on the member’s quality assurance and sustainability performance allowing them to make informed decisions on improving the sustainability of their businesses.
Source: Origin Green