‘Egg support needed’

Consumers and the rest of the food chain must support the British egg market when new European welfare rules for hens are introduced later this year.

That is according to NFU president Peter Kendall who has addressed delegates at a British Lion Egg Products’ press event held in London.

At the event, which co-incided with the British Lion Egg Product’s campaign called ‘The Clock is Ticking’, Mr Kendall said producers in the UK had already spent £400 million to meet, and in many cases exceed, the forthcoming new European welfare rules.

The new legislation will make it illegal to produce eggs from conventional battery cages.

Mr Kendall urged consumers, the food chain and food service sector to purchase British eggs instead of potentially cheaper eggs from countries that would not meet new welfare standards come December 31.

Speaking after the conference Mr Kendall said: “UK producers, including Lion scheme producers, have invested significantly in higher welfare standards to meet the demands of the EU Welfare of Laying Hens Directive but producers in some countries will have not.”

“It is vital that everyone in the food chain, from consumers, retailers and food service sector, gets behind this great message we have on welfare standards in this country rather than letting it end up as a nasty sting in the tail,” he added.