Selling Surplus Eggs - Farm Gate Sales
For the small poultry keeper with less than 50 laying Hens, surplus eggs can be sold directly to the consumer without any of the red tape such as marking eggs and producer registration.
For the commercial egg producer, there are minimum standards of quality and weight grading, marking, packaging, storage, transport and presentation for retail sale of eggs.
Producers with 50 or more laying hens must 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, anyone with 50 or more birds (i.e., all poultry - hens, ducks, geese, etc.) must also register with DEFRA for disease control purposes. This is a simple and free process which can be done online.
Packing stations for large producers must have premises approved as food businesses by the local authority before trading can commence. Detailed records must be kept. Regulations are designed to ensure that the quality of eggs is maintained in the commercial environment.
However, most of these regulations do not apply to eggs sold directly to the final consumer by small poultry keepers. To be exempt the eggs must be from the producer's own hens.
Small poultry keepers with less than 50 laying hens can sell their eggs directly to the consumer from their home, the farm gate, door-to-door, at local markets and at the work place to sell to colleagues.
To sell eggs at a local public market the name and address of the producer, consumer advice (such as "Keep Refrigerated after Purchase") and best-before date must be indicated at the point of sale. This information can be provided on the egg boxes, on a leaflet or put on a notice at your stall.
Any photograph of hens on the label or poster should be representative of the breed(s) that lay the eggs.
The maximum best-before date is 28 days from the date of lay but eggs must be delivered to the consumer within 21 days of lay. Until the ninth day after laying, eggs may be sold as 'Extra fresh' as an additional quality indication.
Minimum standards for housing and feeding hens in certain types of production such as free range and organic are required. If you use labels be careful about the wording. Instead of “free range” and “organic” use something like Happy Garden Hens or Fresh 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. Eggs for sale should not be stored artificially at temperatures below +5°C.
There is nothing more intriguing than a tray of coloured hens' eggs, and nothing duller than a tray of 'supermarket browns'. You can sell eggs of different colours and sizes in the same box.
Any packaging should be dry, clean and in good repair. Egg boxes or trays may be re-used provided they are clean and in good condition, and that they do not show old markings which may confuse or mislead the purchaser.
There are no rules and regulations for selling duck eggs.