Minister for Agriculture Food & Marine, Simon Coveney and a delegation of European industry leaders as well as UN Global Food standards agencies recently conducted a site tour at Irish Egg producer and packer Riverview Eggs’ Cork facility to learn best practices in the egg industry for traceability, with a view to applying similar best practices and standards across Europe.
Over the last two and a half years, Riverview Eggs has co-developed a unique system with GS1 Ireland (Global Standards 1(Ireland)), who develop and maintain the most widely used supply chain standards system in the world. GS1 standards improve the efficiency, safety and visibility of supply chains across multiple sectors.
Riverview Eggs is the only egg producer and packer in Ireland to have such a system and at the “press of a button”, Riverview can track and record which retailer or customer got what eggs, when they got them and from what henhouse they were produced. This allows for instant traceability and complete transparency regarding the origin egg and the supply chain of Riverview Eggs.
The delegation of European industry leaders visited the market-leading egg producer and packer on Wednesday August 14th and they included; UNECE (The United Nations Economic Commission for Europe) Working Party on Agricultural Quality Standards, The Polish Agricultural Ministry and three senior executives from the Russian Egg and Poultry Industry.
Minster for Agriculture, Food & Marine, Mr. Simon Coveney said; “The visit of such an influential international delegation is of huge significance not only to Riverview Eggs, but also to Ireland as it reinforces just how rigid we are with our traceability from farm to fork. I would like to congratulate Riverview Eggs and their counterparts GS1 and the customers who purchase eggs from Riverview, on a truly important traceability and stock system, which guarantees the safest eggs to the consumer.”
The main purpose of their visit was to learn from the Irish experience about ensuring traceability in the egg and poultry industry, as well as to see how poultry processing and egg production are organised at Ireland’s leading poultry industry companies.
Commenting on the visit, Managing Director DJ Kelleher remarked “Being recognised on an EU scale, as the standard to emulate, is a testament to our long history of commitment to excellence with particular emphasis on product quality control and safety which is very important to all our customers such as Dunnes, SuperValu, Centra, Tesco Ireland, as well as Pallas Foods and the symbol groups”
Speaking about the traceability scheme, Martin Kelleher, Managing Director, SuperValu said, “SuperValu have enjoyed a long and successful association with Riverview Eggs for over 30 years. We believe in providing our customers with quality produce they can really trust. We are committed to supporting local and Irish suppliers across our business and it is a real endorsement of our quality credentials when suppliers such as Riverview Eggs provide such assurance through their traceability systems. SuperValu has applied numerous traceability innovations in our Own Brand supply chains and we are delighted with this further development by Riverview Eggs which provides additional traceability assurance for Supervalu customers. We recognise the importance of traceability to our consumers and welcome this first in Ireland achievement by Riverview”
The system allows every stock item to be traceable in the event of a swift recall whereby a full program is in place so that when eggs come in from a farm, the full quantity and age of the egg is scanned in at Riverview Eggs’ facility. When the egg is packed, all of that traceability information is put on to the egg, the pack and the outer case and logged into stock on their premises. When the product is exiting the premises, it is scanned out to the particular customer so that if a recall is needed they are able to trace a particular batch from a specific henhouse, which customer those eggs were dispatched to and when they were dispatched.
For the customer, in event of a product recall, a traceability report can be completed very swiftly (within 20 minutes) whereas other systems would not be as robust and can take a number of hours. This system also saves time for the Department of Agriculture when it comes to a reconciliation audit, which can now be completed in seven minutes as opposed to two or three hours with other systems.
Riverview Eggs is a Kelleher family-run business based at Watergrasshill, Co. Cork and is one of the largest producers and packers of both commercial and free-range eggs in Ireland with 24 employees locally and 40 nationally through their family operated farms.