Cumbrian MP, Tim Farron, has used a written parliamentary question to gain assurances from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural affairs that conventional caged hen eggs coming from EU nations that are not compliant with the 2012 EU Egg Directive, will be traceable, in order to protect British Egg farmers.
From January of this year, in attempts to improve animal welfare conditions across the EU, it became illegal for egg producers in EU nations to use eggs from hens that have been caged in conventional smaller cages.
However, there has been considerable concern amongst British egg farmers, who have ensured they are compliant with the new EU Egg Directive, that eggs from certain EU nations who have admitted they are not compliant, will find their way into food products in Britain - essentially forcing the more ethical and more expensive British eggs out.
In his response Farming Minister Jim Paice, assured Tim that enforcement authorities require Food Business Operators to keep, 'appropriate traceability records as required by European food law." In addition he stated that "Major retailers, processors, food manufacturers and food service companies have put into place stringent traceability tests to ensure that they do not sources eggs or egg products from laying hens kept in conventional cages."
Commenting Tim said: "The introduction of the 2012 EU Egg Directive was an important step forward for the improvement of Animal Welfare across Europe and I am extremely proud of the hard work put in by British Egg farmers to ensure they are compliant.
"However, the risk of eggs from non-compliant states making their way into the British market is an ongoing concern. The assurances from the Minister that there are 'stringent traceability tests' in extremely welcome, but we must ensure that our Government and the EU is doing all it can to make certain that British egg farmers are rewarded for the improvements to animal welfare that they have made and do not suffer for their efforts."
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