- Free-range egg production – Birds have access to the range all day; maximum flock density is 2,500 birds per hectare (inside area density is 1111 square cm per bird); birds have perches, nest boxes and scratching areas
- Barn production – Birds do not have access to range; inside density of 1428 square cms per bird; birds have perches, nesting boxes and scratching areas
- Colony cage environment – Birds do not have access to range – up to 60 birds per enclosure – area of 750 square cm per bird; birds have perches, nest boxes and scratching areas
- Conventional cage (being phased out by 31 December 2022) – Birds do not have access to range; 2-5 birds per cage – area of 550 square cms per bird.
- Egg production in NZ is currently 232 eggs per person per year
- Egg consumption is 226 eggs per person per year
- This is one of the highest consumption rates in the world
- The small difference is export and processed product
- Chicken meat has been NZ’s number one source of meat protein since 2001 – 40kgs/person.
- Conventional cage eggs (being phased out) – $3.61/dozen*
- Colony eggs (being phased in) – $4.05/dozen
- Barn-raised – $6.43/dozen
- Free-range – $7.34/dozen
- Free-range is therefore 50% more expensive than cage eggs and 45% more expensive than colony eggs.
Egg Supermarket sales:
- Supermarkets account for 50% of sales and are the only sales that are broken down
- The rest of sales are: commercial baking and small retail and are mainly Conventional cage egg consumers
- Percent of supermarket sales:
- Conventional cage/Colony 66% (no outdoor access)
- Free-range 27% (outdoor access)
- Barn 5% (no outdoor access)
- Other 2% – 1 % mostly chilled egg white and 1% organic
- Volume growth in supermarkets in the last year:
- Conventional cage/Colony 63%
- Free-range 37%
- Conventional cage/Colony is growing at nearly double the rate of free-range.
- High-volume consumers are Māori, Pacific and Asian
- Data in this area is limited but here is some related information:
- 70% of these ethnic groups purchase two or more dozen eggs a month
- Of those, 39% purchase more than four dozen a month
- 54% of these ethnic groups purchase eggs in trays of 30. Purchase of trays is considered an indicator of price sensitivity.
- Egg and meat exports are increasing to Pacific Islands, New Caledonia and PNG (eggs); Pacific Islands, Melanesia, UAE, Japan and Australia (cooked, fresh, frozen meat)
- These markets are price-conscious and are apparently all Conventional cage eggs and Barn-raised meat, at this point
- Singapore is an emerging market which apparently will not import free-range products due to biosecurity concerns – Salmonella and avian influenza
- Pressure is coming on export and local sales of egg ingredients from Australia where Conventional cage egg production continues
- NZ’s freedom from disease is a major factor in a growing export trade for eggs and meat.
- Switzerland has been Free-range for some decades
- Germany has gone Free-range more recently and has gone from an egg powerhouse exporter to an importer from EU countries that haven’t gone Free-range
- Much of Europe is a combination of Barn and Colony production
- Colony is big in the UK (possibly around 50%)
- Canada is moving from Conventional cage to Colonies like New Zealand by 2036
- North America, South America, Central America, Australia, Africa, Asia and Russia remain largely Conventional Cage-based.
- Is emerging as a major concern internationally with the advent of virulent strains of Avian Influenza – the avian equivalent of Foot and Mouth Disease
- NZ is free of Avian Influenza and Newcastle Disease – two of the three major poultry diseases that afflict poultry flocks worldwide.
- An outbreak of Infectious Disease (IBD) on two North Otago farms in 2019 has been completely contained. A fully industry-funded national blood sampling regime has found no IBD on any other farm in New Zealand.
- Neither eggs nor chicken meat can be imported into NZ for biosecurity reasons
- A higher price differential between eggs/meat in NZ compared to say Australia could result in pressure to change this arrangement
- Free-range most susceptible to influenza because of exposure to other avian species on the range
- In Australia in 2014 a flock of 300,000 caged birds (5% of Australian layer hens) was slaughtered because of concerns about Avian Influenza infection from nearby Free-range birds. This led to an egg shortage on the Australian market and NZ picked up the PNG market as a result.
- AC Nielsen supermarket data
- MPI reports