You’ll often hear me say that the bedrock of our industry’s success is trust—and that’s why we care deeply for the Canadian public’s trust in us. We can’t do what we do without that strong relationship. As I wrote in this article, “every aspect of our business—from operations to policy development to governance—are approached with the utmost regard for our communities, our environment and our society… the spaces we live and thrive.” And Canadians know it too. Canadians trust the standards followed on Canadian farms—and they want to know that their food is coming from Canadian farms they trust.
Egg Farmers of Canada is making it easier to identify top-quality eggs through a simple method—a national certification program. This latest initiative adds a new mark to the eggs you know and love, a symbol of the remarkable quality of made-in-Canada eggs. We call it our Egg Quality Assurance™ mark (EQA® for short).
The EQA® program is an industry-wide initiative that certifies Canadian eggs are produced according to strict food safety and animal welfare standards, which includes on-farm inspections and third-party audits. For Canadians, it’s an instantly recognizable sign that their eggs are made-in-Canada and are of the highest quality.
EQA® is the culmination of decades building world-class standards for food safety and animal care in the Canadian egg industry. The standards have evolved over time, building on the work of generations of egg farmers, scientists, animal welfare experts and more.
Those standards are held through our national Animal Care and Start Clean-Stay Clean® programs. The Animal Care Program makes sure that every Canadian egg comes from a hen that’s well-cared for, and is based on the requirements of the Code of Practice developed by top vets and experts. Meanwhile, the HACCP-based Start Clean-Stay Clean® food safety program ensures the storage, cleanliness, air quality, feed and record-keeping of farms are top-notch, which in turn ensures that Canadians can trust that their eggs are safe.
There are five quality principles of our EQA® program, which help ensure our standards are world-class:
- Critical requirements: Our requirements for animal care and food safety are scientifically informed and developed with the involvement of industry stakeholders and third-party experts.
- Verification: Farmers must maintain records so program adherence can be easily tracked.
- Third-party auditing: Inspections conducted by professionals ensure each farm meets all standards.
- Continuous improvement: Standards are reviewed regularly and requirements are updated based on new research and scientific data.
- Farmer commitment: A program of this magnitude takes a whole industry. EQA® involves the full participation of all regulated Canadian egg farmers from coast to coast.
These principles are the pillars upon which we’re building the most precious resource in our industry: trust between Canadians and their farmers. It’s why we look forward to seeing the EQA® mark on egg cartons, restaurant menus and egg products across the country. Canadians trust their food: they want to know where their food comes from and the assurance it is produced to the highest possible standards. By seeing the EQA® mark, they know that they can trust Canadian eggs.
To learn even more about our EQA® program, watch our video below: