Frequently Asked Questions

The following are some of our most frequently asked questions on the EQA™ mark. Don’t see your question here? Get in touch and we’ll be happy to answer them for you.

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Are the EQA™ standards new?

The EQA™ program brings farmers, graders and processors under one national certification program which ensures that all Canadian eggs are produced according to strict food safety and animal welfare standards.

While 2019 is the first year the EQA™ mark will appear on egg cartons, adherence to these national on-farm standards has been in place for nearly 20 years as part of the Start Clean-Stay Clean® and Animal Care Programs. 

Why introduce EQA™ now?

Canadians trust Canadian eggs. In fact, more than 90% of consumers trust the quality standards for food coming from Canadian farms.

Even with such a high level of trust, Canadians want to know where their food comes from and want the assurance it is produced to the highest possible standards.

The Canadian egg industry has responded to this interest by developing a national certification program. The EQA™ mark tells consumers, right on the egg carton, that their eggs are produced by farmers dedicated to producing a top-quality product that meets national food safety and animal care standards. These efforts go hand-in-hand with Egg Farmers of Canada’s commitment to continuously improve and strengthen egg farming practices to safeguard Canada’s food supply.

Who developed the EQA™ program?

The EQA™ program involves the entire Canadian egg industry—from egg farmers and graders to processors and retailers. All are encouraged to work together to meet the requirements of the EQA™ certification and promote the benefits of purchasing EQA™ certified eggs to their customers.

Is the EQA™ program mandatory?

All registered Canadian egg farmers must follow the Start Clean-Stay Clean® and Animal Care Programs. These two programs are central to the EQA™ program.

While participation in EQA™ program is voluntary, Canadian egg graders, processors, grocery retailers and foodservice providers are encouraged to display the EQA™ mark on their packaging, strengthening the trust in the quality of Canadian eggs.

Are all eggs included in the EQA™ program?

The program is applicable on all types, colours, and sizes of eggs produced on regulated Canadian egg farms.

Imported eggs from the United States are not governed by the quality standards set out by the EQA™ program and are therefore not eligible for EQA™ certification.

What happens if eggs do not meet EQA™ requirements?

Eggs from farms found to be non-compliant with program requirements cannot carry the EQA™ certification. These eggs would not be available for purchase until corrective action takes place.

What is the difference between EQA™ certified and Grade A eggs?

The EQA™ program is a national certification program that is distinct from the grading system used for eggs. Grading ratings relate to the eggs’ weight, shell integrity, and nature of the yolk and white, while the EQA™ program applies to farming practices and standards related to food safety and animal welfare.

Is there something that visually identifies eggs certified by the EQA™ program?

Canadian egg cartons and egg product packaging that bear the EQA™ mark proudly show that they have passed the EQA™ certification.

However, use of the mark is voluntary. Even if some Canadian egg cartons and egg product packages do not feature the mark, the eggs will still have met the certification standards required to be available for purchase in retail stores.

Is there a cost for participating in the EQA™ program?

There are no costs to egg farmers, graders, processors, grocery retailers or foodservice providers to participate in the program.

Who can participate in the EQA™ program?

Eggs from all Canadian egg farms that meet the standards of the national Start-Clean Stay Clean® and Animal Care Programs qualify for EQA™ certification.

Canadian egg graders, processors, grocery retailers and foodservice providers interested in displaying the EQA™ mark are required to complete a licensing agreement with Egg Farmers of Canada. There are no licensing fees for use of the mark.

How can retailers and foodservice providers use the EQA™ mark?

EQA™ licensees are invited to incorporate the mark into their product packaging according to the EQA™ Brand Guidelines. All artwork displaying the EQA™ mark is subject to review by Egg Farmers of Canada prior to production.