Farmer Eddie’s Eggs – Organic, Pasture-Raised Non GMO Eggs
7th Oct 2021
Farmer Eddie’s hens produce non-GMO certified eggs for Food Lover’s Market – first of its kind in Africa.
- Eddie’s Eggs is a Non-GMO certified egg business located in the Eastern Cape.
- Eddie Ferreira now supplies eggs to 27 Food Lover’s Market stores in Cape Town, KZN, Gauteng and Eastern Cape.
- The laying hens at Eddie’s Eggs are Certified Animal Welfare Approved by A Greener World (AGW) and Certified Non-GMO by AGW.
- The first farm in Africa to achieve the Certified Animal Welfare Approved awarded by AGW, in the category for laying hens.
Eddie Ferreira’s hens roam the orchards freely on his farm, located in the middle of the Sundays Rivers Valley – the largest citrus-producing region in the country. With a flock of over 8500 laying hens, Eddie can produce roughly 7500 eggs a day in addition to the Certified Non-GMO by AGW animal feed for sale to the public. Many of these eggs find their way to 27 Food Lover’s Market stores across South Africa, where more and more customers are appreciating the lessening of the environmental impact and health benefits of eggs from chickens raised outdoors and fed a diet free from GMO’s, animal by-products and fishmeal.
Says Ferreira, “Pasture-raised hens, fed Non-GMO animal feed, produce a better product, with pasture-raised eggs containing up to three times as much vitamin E, seven times more beta-carotene, and twice the amount of omega 3 fatty acids as industrial eggs. Food Lover’s Market egg lovers buying Farmer Eddie’s eggs can rest assured that their omelettes are cruelty-free.”
How did Farmer Eddie’s Eggs come to life?
The idea to produce Non-GMO eggs was born from a desire to eat cleaner foods. Eddie knew he wanted to implement something that was both simple and unique. Enter, the humble egg. By combining non-GMO feed – including maize and soy from Zambia – with his existing certified organic citrus farming practices, he could produce an egg that would be free from chemicals and pests and produced from pasture-raised (free to roam from sunrise to sunset), chemical-free, hormone, and antibiotic-free hens.
Like other Certified Animal Welfare Approved by AGW farmers across the country, Eddie Ferreira is a passionate advocate for raising livestock on pasture, citing positive impacts for the animal the environment, and the consumer.
The farm is based on Regenerative farming practices
The whole farm is based on regenerative farming practices. Says Ferreira, “The land and the people benefit, from an ecological sustainability approach, and it comes down to soil health. The farm is a certified organic citrus farm, where no chemicals or pesticides are used. Healthy soil means healthy grasses and plants, with an abundance of insects and bugs, all making up a healthy, uncontaminated and nutritional source of food for the hens.” In turn, a healthier food source for people.
“The chickens play a role in this by pecking the ground, eating bugs, helping to clean the orchard of harmful insect pests, and naturally fertilising the soil. There are also free-roaming cattle, pigs, and sheep that co-exist on the farm to contribute to a harmonious ecosystem. No hormones or antibiotics are given to the chickens.”
Certified Animal Welfare Approved by AGW is the only high animal welfare certification in South Africa and Eddie’s Eggs is the first farm on the continent to meet the programme’s standards for laying hens, which were developed in collaboration with scientists, veterinarians, researchers, and farmers across the globe to maximise practicable, high-welfare farm management.
“As the first farm in Africa to achieve this recognition for laying hens, it is a testament to the hard work we have put into farming as nature intended,” says Eddie Ferreira of Eddie’s Eggs. “In South Africa, very few farms are raising their laying hens outdoors and to the high standard of care we provide.”
Where do the chickens sleep?
While not a single hen is housed in a building, let alone a cage, they do spend their days roaming the orchards and nights in their ‘egg mobiles’.
The egg mobiles are movable caravans, specifically built for the chickens (a.k.a roosting caravans). They are rotated 365 days a year, never staying in one area of the orchard for more than one week. This means that the hens don’t overgraze the pastures and they rotate through the citrus orchard turning the soil and fertilising it naturally.
Did you know that if a hen does not have somewhere to perch, she won’t have a good night’s sleep and good rest?!
“On average there are 300 chickens per egg mobile, which also serves to protect them from predators. Each egg mobile is insulated and has roosting perches in them. This allows hens to perch on the roosts safely and lay their eggs. This is extremely important as a hen needs somewhere to perch – if she does not, she won’t have a good nights sleep,” says Ferreira.
“As soon as the sun sets, the hens naturally go into their egg mobile and as soon as the sun rises, the egg mobiles are opened and the hens are free to roam around the citrus orchards, enjoying the sun, insects, pastures, and non-GMO feed.”
Did you know that a hen needs 15 hours of daylight to produce an egg?
As hens need 15 hours of daylight to produce an egg, each egg mobile is fitted with solar panels which are used in Winter – two hours of light is added in morning and night as the chickens perch, to create 15 hours of daylight for the chicken.
“We’re happy that we can deliver a product to Food Lover’s Market that is sustainable, environmentally responsible, and with fantastic health benefits for the consumer. It’s important to demonstrate that you can farm sustainably on such a scale. It’s possible, and for the sake of the environment, animals and human health, you have to do it.” – Eddie Ferreira
What is Eddie’s motto?
“Honest, ethical farming, for the customer and the animal” – Farmer Eddie. Talk the talk and walk the walk.
What is Farmer Eddie’s favourite way to eat eggs?
He has 2 ways:
- An omelette (Try this recipe).
- A soft, slow-cooked egg, fried, on GMO-free mieliepap with real butter. A little secret from Eddie for the BEST fried eggs– cook these eggs on slow-heat.
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Where can I find Eddie’s Eggs?
The following stores currently stock Farmer Eddie’s Eggs (correct as of 5 October 2021.)
- Menlyn Mall
- Lynnwood Lane
- Morning Glen
- Arbour Crossing
- La Lucia
- Access Park
- Long Beach
- Mossel bay
- Somerset West
- Jeffrey’s Bay
- Moffett Retail Park