Egg Standards of Australia
Egg Standards of Australia
ESA is a voluntary quality assurance program, replacing the previous egg industry program Egg Corp Assured (ECA). It has been developed through an extensive consultation process with industry and represents a robust, credible and workable QA standard that meets the needs of regulators and retailers. ESA is a practical mechanism for delivering consistency across the egg industry and provides a framework for producers to demonstrate compliance.
ESA provides a robust set of compliance standards that have been independently reviewed against current Australian retailer and regulatory requirements.
ESA is based on the principles of Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) and addresses many aspects of egg production including hen welfare, egg quality, biosecurity, food safety, work health and safety and environmental management.
There are two components to the ESA program which together address quality principles from the rearing of day-old chicks up to the packing of eggs tor sale.
ESA for Rearing and Laying Farms covers the industry practices relating to day old chicks or started pullets to the farm, up to the point of removal of started pullets, spent hens and eggs for human consumption from the farm. This component is applicable to the following types of egg production systems: Cage, Barn and Free Range.
ESA for Grading and Packing Floors covers the general requirements for the collection, grading, washing, packing and delivery of shell eggs, as well as the hygienic manufacture, storage, packaging and distribution of egg pulp and egg products for sale or supply for human consumption only.
The components are structured into multiple levels to enable adoption at a level that suits the farm business’ needs and customer requirements.
- Level 1 – Basic: An entry level for egg farmers who are new to the egg industry or who have not previously participated in a quality assurance program. Egg farms certified at this level are audited to Level 1 compliance criteria. (Level 1 is only available for the Rearing and Layer Standard)
- Level 2 – Core: An intermediate level suited to egg farmers with a more developed compliance system and record keeping procedures, to meet regulatory requirements. Egg farms certified at this level must be audited against both Level 1 and Level 2 compliance criteria.
- Level 3 – Comprehensive: An advanced level suited to egg farmers with a fully developed compliance system and record keeping procedures, to meet the requirements of major retail customers. Egg farms certified at this level must be audited against all three levels of compliance criteria.
The structure is aimed at encouraging broad industry participation, improved compliance outcomes and demonstrating continuous improvement as egg farmers transition through the Levels.
There is no cost for an egg business to join the ESA program and access ESA resources (available through your My AusEggs login). Once a business has implemented ESA and seeks certification, producers will need to cover the cost of the annual compliance audit for each site.
ESA is administered by AUS-MEAT, for more information on ESA or to register with ESA please contact AUS-MEAT on [E-Mail not displayed] or 1800 621 903.
Egg producers have a choice of four certification bodies (SGS, BSI, AusQual and MXNS) to conduct their ESA audit. All ESA approved auditors have the appropriate qualifications and experience to conduct egg production audits. The consistency of audit process is closely monitored.
Unannounced audits may be conducted under ESA, where a formal complaint has been made and Australian Eggs considers an audit is justified in order to maintain the integrity of the program. Under such circumstances, Australian Eggs will meet the full cost of the audit.
For information on the audit process and to register for ESA, please contact AUS-MEAT on (07) 3361 9200 or email [E-Mail not displayed].
To find out more about the Australian egg industry click here.