The British Egg Industry Council (BEIC) has said supply of British eggs is slowly improving, but retailers are still relying on imported product to fill gaps on shelves.
Mark Williams, BEIC chief executive, said the imported eggs on some supermarket shelves are not deemed safe enough to be approved by the Food Standards Agency to be eaten runny by vulnerable groups. “Consumers deserve better than this, as do the British farmers who have invested millions in ensuring that British Lion eggs are the safest in the world,” he said.
The British Egg Industry Council warned more than a year ago that unless retailers were prepared to help producers with the unprecedented costs of production they were facing, then production would be curtailed. “This is exactly what has happened and now consumers are facing the consequences,” said Williams.
“We are extremely proud of the high standards of the independently audited British Lion Code of Practice and we urge retailers who have chosen to stock imported eggs, to make it absolutely clear that the imported eggs need to be thoroughly cooked and cannot safely be eaten runny by young children, the elderly or during pregnancy.
“Supply is slowly improving as the industry works through the multiple challenges that have dented confidence in producers’ ability to put British eggs on the shelf without losing money, and there should be no compromise in the high standards that British shoppers rightly take for granted.”