Duck egg producer Watercress Lane has developed the Blue Duck quality mark as its answer to the British Lion quality assurance program for chicken eggs.

The British Lion program has been in place since 1998, but does not apply to duck eggs. According to Watercress Lane, the Blue Duck logo will serve as a guarantee that its eggs are produced to consistently high standards of freshness, food safety and animal welfare.

"Duck eggs have more protein, minerals and vitamins than hen eggs as well as a proper egg flavor, but the received wisdom is that they are not as hygienic or reliable,” said Melandy Daniels, manager at Watercress Lane. “We know that this isn't true and have introduced the Blue Duck to give consumers that guarantee."

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The Blue Duck logo indicates that the eggs have been quality-checked, dried, graded and shipped out within a day of laying. The ducks are managed in accordance with the Freedom Foods code of conduct from the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. They are barn-raised with natural daylight and access to open water pools for preening and paddling.

Watercress Lane duck eggs are produced by the Burwell Hatchery in Norfolk, United Kingdom, which currently manages 28,000 birds producing more than 12,000 dozen eggs per week.