A company providing marketing and research and development services for farmers has developed a new software tool which helps farmers trace eggs from point of lay, through to purchase by customers.
Australian Eggs managing director Rowan McMonnies said the EggTrace tool would allow farmers to trace back from point of purchase to the date and location that the eggs were laid.
This would provide greater visibility as to the paths these eggs took, meaning that any health or quality issues could be rectified quickly and efficiently.
The development of EggTrace was part of a commonwealth grant project to drive improved food safety and security across the agriculture sector.
Australian Eggs Managing Director, Rowan McMonnies, said improved traceability coverage will make the egg industry more resilient and improve Australia's food security.
"Australians consume about 17.3 million eggs a day, so if the quality or safety of our eggs is under threat, it would have major implications to our national food supply," Mr McMonnies said.
"EggTrace is a browser-based tool that works by providing farmers with the insights they need to isolate, neutralise and rectify any issue on-farm before it causes significant food supply issues, and is linked to the production type and best before date.
"As the global trend towards transparency and traceability in the food chain accelerates, traceability has become even more important in ensuring that we have the trust and confidence of Australians."
He said Australians cared where their eggs come from, a fact reflected in a survey which showed most Australians (69.1 per cent) preferred to buy eggs from retailers that required them to be traceable back to the farm.
A significant majority (86.8pc) agreed that traceability is important in ensuring food safety.
Whilst most large egg producers already have robust traceability systems in place, some smaller producers faced knowledge, technical or financial barriers.
"Australian Eggs is breaking down the remaining barriers to broader traceability coverage by putting resources in the hands of farmers to help them trace the movements of their eggs," Mr McMonnies said.
Josh's Rainbow Eggs, Monegeetta, chief executive Dr Tamsyn Murray said traceability was one of the most critical components of her business.
The producer, who supplies eggs to Woolworths and Coles stores said that her traceability system helped her sleep at night.
"As egg producers we are responsible for every egg we sell. Each egg must be the best possible egg - nutritious, tasty and safe," Dr Murray said.
"Our traceability system allows us to immediately rectify any issues with egg production and ensures that we are only providing the best eggs to our customers."
In addition to the new software tool, Australian Eggs has also developed a suite of resources for egg farmers, including a traceability manual, factsheets and more, which are available at https://www.australianeggs.org.au/for-farmers/traceability
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