Friday, 31 March 2017

Foodstuffs partners with Oritain to offer scientific proof of free range eggs

A Dunedin company offering scientific traceability of food products will soon give shoppers greater clarity over where their free range eggs have come from. 

Foodstuffs has announced it is working with Oritain Global Ltd to give its customers scientifically traceable free range eggs under its Pams brand. 
“The advantage of Oritain’s approach is they test the actual product, rather than relying on packaging and paperwork,” Foodstuffs (NZ) Ltd Managing Director Steve Anderson says. “Oritain approached us back in 2015 to discuss how they could help us with the traceability of our products. They have proven experience working with businesses throughout New Zealand, Australia and the UK. 
“Given the recent difficulties the egg industry has faced with free range egg labelling, this is the time to show our customers that we take the provenance of our products seriously,” Anderson says. 
“We moved to offer only free range and barn raised eggs under the Pams brand in 2008. We’ve just visited one of our largest suppliers of Pams eggs in the Far North and we’re very happy with what we’ve seen – their facilities are top class and we saw plenty of very happy chickens. 
“By using Oritain, we add another level of assurance to our supply chain. It will allow us to develop a clear protocol to work through if we find suspect results and enable us to take action with the supplier. ” 
The Oritain methodology uses scientific testing to develop an ‘origin fingerprint’ for each of the farms from which Foodstuffs sources its Pams free range eggs. The testing measures elements that occur naturally in each farm’s environment, and which are absorbed by free range birds living there. 
Because concentrations of these elements vary depending on origin, each farm’s fingerprint is different. Regular testing at different points in the supply chain will measure Pams free range eggs against this fingerprint to ensure their origin can be verified.

“The science is very robust. Where a farm has both caged and free range hens, Oritain is able to differentiate between them. An egg can be tested at the farm, at our distribution centre or even at the supermarket, and we will be able to confirm where it has come from.

“We think it makes sense to apply this technology to other free range products, and we’re already talking to Oritain about how we can use this system for our Pams free range pork products as well.” 

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