Consumers who want quality eggs farmed to high animal welfare standards now have another option to choose from.
Horowhenua producer ‘The Ultimate Egg & Poultry Co Ltd.’ is the latest layer hens’ distributor to join the SPCA Blue Tick® accreditation scheme. They can now proudly display the SPCA Blue Tick® certification logo on their packaging for both their barn and free range eggs.
With the SPCA’s Blue Tick® accreditation, consumers around the country can choose egg and meat products with confidence knowing that they have been produced to meet stringent SPCA Blue Tick® standards. Our farms are independently audited with both announced and unannounced audits.
The SPCA Blue Tick® approval can only granted after an independent audit has been successfully conducted by a third party auditor contracted to the SPCA and extensively trained to our standards. Following this, the SPCA Blue Tick® will issue a ‘Certificate of Approval’ for the farm or the site that has successfully passed the audit.
The Ultimate Egg & Poultry Co Ltd has earned the SPCA Blue Tick® certification logo by demonstrating a consistently high animal welfare standard across their extensive operations.
Second generation farmers and owners of the Ultimate Egg & Poultry Co Ltd Nick and Katherine Bennik say there is a family tradition of producing the tastiest, highest quality eggs available in New Zealand.
“We were one of the first in the barn farming, involved with the SPCA and have always been proud to meet its high standards and share in its philosophy around the highest animal welfare and care,” they say.
The Bennik family knows its eggs: operations commenced some 25 years ago with just 2,500 hens in a single barn. Since then, a focus on that family tradition has seen the farm expand to more than 40,000 hens across five separate sites, encompassing both free range and barn production.
“We’re passionate about animal welfare, raising all birds on site so we can be assured that our hens receive the life they deserve from day one. This passion flows through into designing our purpose built ‘play-kits’ spread throughout the extensive ranging area to be enjoyed by our hens,” the Benniks added. Their philosophy is a simple one: “Happy hens lay the ultimate eggs.”
SPCA Chief Scientific Officer Dr Arnja Dale says the play kits enrich the hens outdoor environment and gives the hens choices of extra shade, raised platforms, toys, and perches.
SPCA Blue Tick® Business Unit Manager Ségolène de Fontenay explains that the accreditation scheme is entirely independent of the food and farming industries, providing 100 percent independence that consumers can rely on.
“We certify New Zealand produced eggs, chicken, pig and turkey products that have been farmed to the SPCA Blue Tick® high animal welfare standards.”
The SPCA Blue Tick® standards are written by our SPCA Science and Education team alongside other animal welfare experts and after consultation with our existing farmers signed off by the SPCA’s Chief Scientific Officer, Dr. Arnja Dale. “We incorporate current legislation, codes of welfare, scientific research, veterinary advice and practical farm experience into our best practice animal welfare standards. The standards also account for responsible animal welfare management, skilled stockmanship, as well as environmental design,” Dr. Dale explains.
De Fontenay notes that mindful consumers run the risk of being misled by marketing terms such as ‘free range’ amongst others that doesn’t necessarily give the assurance of good animal welfare. In fact, a good barn operations is better than a poor free range operations. “Free range is only a style of farming and when you see ‘free range’ it is important to question by what measure that product was independently certified as free range.
Those who care about how their food is produced should look beyond the marketing jargon and look into what standards the product has been farmed to and what as a consumer you actually buy.”
Media release published on:
Leandri Smith, PR Republic, 027 365 9003, firstname.lastname@example.org.