To ensure complete traceability, producers print an alphanumerical code on each eggshell. These letters and numbers are a transparent display of all the available information regarding that egg's life. The first number shows how the hen was raised. The next two letters designate the country where the egg was laid. Finally, a code identifies the farm in question. The difference between fresh and super fresh is a matter of egg-laying date.
As a caterer or a customer, it is therefore possible to buy eggs with full knowledge of their origin, and choose between organic (0), free range (1), barn (2) and cage (3) knowing that the first one is best for animal welfare. Each type of farm has a precise definition and meets stringent regulations that set the hens' living conditions, from housing to feeding.
Types of egg farms worldwide (%)
There are about 7.3 billion egg-laying hens worldwide, producing 184 eggs a year each on average. Six eggs out of ten come come from the Asia-Pacific region, 15% are laid in Europe, and 9% picked up in North America.
Evolution of worldwide production