2IT001 VR036 – understanding your eggs


80% of eggs sold in Italian supermarkets are from intensively reared chickens. The situation is slowly changing and in recent years the number of free range eggs sold have increased. Now the Coop (of which Bill is a member) has decided to stop selling eggs from cage reared birds. In their latest magazine they had an interesting article about the information stamped on each egg.

An example of what the letters and numbers mean stamped on each egg are:

2 IT 001 VR 036. 

2 indiates the way the hen was reared (see below for more info);
IT indicates it comes from Italy
001 the commune where the egg comes from (each commune has a specific number)
VR indicates the province (in this example Verona)
036 is the number of the farm (again each producer has a number).

The first number on the stamp will be either 0, 1, 2, 3.

0 = organic. The chickens can roam freely. At least 80% of their feed is organic.

1 = allowed out in to an open protected area for some hours per day.The outside space must be at least 4 sq mt for each hen.

2 = reared in huts but can move freely inside the hut and will also have access to outside space. There must be at least 1sq mt for every 4 hens.

3 = cage reared in an enclosed area with artifical light. There are about 16-18 hens per sq mt. 

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