Free range egg sector calls for “clear labelling” as retail debate hots up

A call for the clear product labelling of eggs has been issued by the British Free Range Egg Producers Association (BFREPA), prompted by the current focus on the retail sector’s move away from selling eggs from enriched colony cage systems.

“Labelling a dozen eggs as ‘cage free’ is not good enough because many shoppers will assume that means free range,” said BFREPA CEO, Robert Gooch, adding that barn egg production, which has no cages but sees birds housed permanently, is “likely to fill the gap left by reduced demand for caged eggs”.

“A great deal of thought needs to go in to how these eggs are marketed to the public in a way that accurately reflects how they have been produced.”

Mr Gooch also said it was important that eggs remain affordable.

“Free range eggs have always attracted a small premium which reflects the additional production costs involved, but not everyone can afford to pay that price,” he said. “Eggs should be available to everyone and it is down to shoppers to make a decision on which production system they prefer.

“We recognise that the announcement from these major retailers and food service companies reflects the desire from the British public to move away from caged systems and we will be working hard to ensure that the interests of free range producers and consumers are not compromised.”

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