EGG production in Canada is up for the twelfth year running, according to a new report.

The Egg Farmers of Canada said an additional 19 million dozen eggs were produced in the country in 2018, which represents 2.63% growth compared with the previous year. Retail sales were up 6%, according to the trade body.

The national flock now stands at 25.2 million birds, up 700,000 when compared with 2017. The population of Canada is 38 million people.

2018 also marked the launch of the Egg Quality Assurance programme, a food safety scheme that saw the introduction of a new emblem for egg packs that will allow customers to easily identify Canadian egg products.

The country is also transitioning away from conventional battery cages to alternative systems, a move announced in 2016.

The annual report says a third of hens are now housed in either enriched colony, “free run” (barn), free range or organic production. “These are the first tangible steps towards the 2036 commitment to eliminate conventional housing from our system,” it adds.

Chief executive of Egg Farmers of Canada, Tim Lambert, said growth amounted to a “stunning milestone”.

“And, our indicators tell us that demand for eggs and egg products will only continue to grow,” he added.