Chickens on Allotments - Selling Surplus Eggs
Happy chickens need free-range space, greens to peck at, invertebrates for desserts, perching bars, things to jump on for exercising and areas for scratching and dust bathing. Happy hens lay lots of tasty eggs.
It is not regarded as illegal to sell the surplus produce from allotments under the technical exemption called "Farm Gate Sales".
To compete with the commercial egg producer you can use a competitive price and freshness as a selling point. Home grown feed can provide a better egg quality and taste which, apart from freshness, is the greatest added-value aspect for the home-producer. People appreciate knowing how fresh the eggs are and that they can see how the hens are raised.
Garden eggs taste better, are better for you and provide amazing flavour, texture and colour. The best marketing tool is customers who tell other people that they are the best eggs they have ever had and are worth every penny.
Producing eggs and selling them on a small scale can done without any red tape. With less than 50 laying hens you can sell eggs, direct to the public, without having to stamp the eggs with identification codes because the consumer can trace the egg straight back to you.
You can sell eggs directly to the consumer from your home, locally door-to-door, at a local market and deliver them to your work colleagues.
You cannot use surplus produce from allotments to support someone elses business. For example, you cannot sell to retail shops and are not allowed to sell to any catering establishments.
When selling eggs be careful about the wording on any labels. Do not use the term "Organic" unless you can prove this. If possible include beneficial labels of "Free Range" and "GM Free guaranteed". A safe choice is something like "Fresh Eggs" or "Wonderful Eggs" from "Happy Garden Hens".
Any photograph of hens on the label or poster should be representative of the breed(s) that lay the eggs.
Do not grade the eggs by their size, and do not store eggs you are selling in the fridge. Keep eggs at a cool temperature (between 6 and 18ºC) for hygiene reasons.
The European Community law on egg marketing is applicable in all European Union Member States. Producers with up to 50 laying hens may sell their eggs at a local public market, provided that the name and address of the producer is indicated at the point of sale. Producers with 50 or more hens must also stamp their eggs going for sale at a local public market with a producer code. Producers with more than 350 laying hens must be registered regardless of how the eggs are marketed. In the UK, premises with 50 or more birds must also register with DEFRA on the GB Poultry Register for purposes of desease prevention and control.