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Support for egg sector vital, NFU President warns


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.

NFU president Peter Kendall has told delegates at the British Lion Egg Products press event that producers in the UK had already spent 400million to meet and in many cases exceed – European legislation which 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.

Following 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.

What this means is that the egg industry here is at real risk of being undercut by farmers who can sell non-compliant, and lets face it illegal, eggs and egg products.

British egg producers must not be punished for playing by the rules, taking risks and putting themselves on the line and having the foresight to convert their units to meet the directive.

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.

The British Lion Egg Products The Clock is Ticking press briefing took  place today at Scotts Restaurant in London.

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