NFU poultry leaders have called for retailers to give egg producers much-needed “clarity” on the retail sector’s cage-free promises
“Retailers who have said they will stop selling eggs from hens kept in enriched cage systems by 2025 must give their suppliers more clarity on timelines and, importantly, what will replace the current production system,” said the NFU, following recent egg sourcing statements issued by Aldi, Tesco, Iceland, Morrisons and Sodexo.
Pointing out that 40% of UK shoppers are currently buying eggs from enriched cage systems, the union commented that a move to alternative production methods will force the egg industry into its biggest change since the introduction of enriched cages in 2012, which cost farmers in excess of £400m at the time.
“This (latest) change will impact greatly across all egg production systems so it is absolutely imperative that we and our members have clarity over retailers’ future plans and have our concerns addressed as soon as possible,” said NFU poultry board chairman, Duncan Priestner (pictured above).
“Although 2025 is nine years away, time is of the essence to allow our producers to make the necessary changes, with minimal disruption to their businesses and to our customers.
“We have built good relations with retailers and will be looking to those relationships to secure much needed clarification and certainty for our members. UK retailers have a very good track record on sourcing UK egg and we look to that commitment continuing.”