KAT – The Association

When KAT started up in 1995 on the initiative of the economy only the first signs of a public debate on the origin of our foods were apparent. The foundation of our association over twenty years ago therefore constituted the birth of the first traceability system in the food industry. Today, KAT is the supervisory body overseeing the origin and traceability of eggs from alternative poultry rearing methods within Germany and the neighbouring European countries.

The basis of all KAT requirements is the guidelines and regulations laid down by the EU and egg marketing standards. They take into account the regulations of the German animal welfare livestock farming directive and other aspects of animal welfare. However, the KAT criteria go beyond these. The goal is cross-border compliance on the criteria specified by KAT, the control and monitoring of eggs using these rearing methods and the strict recording of goods movements from the egg farm to the consumer.

Currently, more than 390 packing stations and sales outlets and around 2,400 laying farms with 5,400 hen houses are part of the KAT system. In addition, there are around 160 compound feed producers. In 2016, around 79 million hens in barn, free-range and organic production were registered. (Date: March 2017).

Goals and Tasks

The primary goal of KAT is the traceability and guarantee of origin of eggs from barn, free-range and organic production. KAT also promotes the implementation of common standards for all KAT members in all Europe.

For this purpose, KAT has:

  • built up a system of quality control and supervision, which includes all production steps from compound feed producer to laying farm and packing station, right up to the retail.

  • agreed with all companies whose products bear the KAT logo the adherence to strict criteria in animal husbandry and hygiene which go beyond the requirements of the EU.

  • made these common high standards obligatory for domestic products as well as for eggs from neighbouring European countries.

  • developed a quality label (the KAT logo) by which the consumer can instantly see whether the marked eggs come from barn, free-range or organic production.

  • created a central database with which all data from relevant participants can be managed, evaluated and checked for plausibility by KAT.


Members and System Participants