Egg producers urge next government to ban low quality imports

The body has called on a ban on the import of eggs and egg products from systems of production prohibited in the UK
The body has called on a ban on the import of eggs and egg products from systems of production prohibited in the UK

Egg producers have called on the next government to introduce a ban on lower quality, lower standard egg imports.

The British Egg Industry Council (BEIC) has set out its asks ahead of the next general election, which is due on 4 July.

In the manifesto, the body calls on the government to provide appropriate protection against egg imports not produced to the UK's standards.

It also underlines the need for stronger collaboration between government and the egg sector to develop evidence-based solutions for environmental issues.

Continued inclusion of the sector in future grant funding, such as manure stores, must also be included, BEIC says.

The BEIC owns the Lion Quality trademark and runs the Lion Quality Scheme for egg production, which accounts for 95% of UK production.

BEIC chief executive, Gary Ford, said the sector was one of British farming’s success stories, providing consumers with a ‘super food’ at an affordable price.

He said: "It is absolutely essential that the next UK government puts the conditions in place to ensure the industry is able to operate sustainably for years to come."

On workforce, BEIC says key workers for the laying hen sector must be placed on the skilled worker visa: immigration salary list and called for a removal of the government cap on worker numbers.

On biosecurity, it says the government must ensure that there are sufficient resources available through the Animal Plant and Health Agency (APHA) to help deal with future bird flu outbreaks and to bring compensation in line with other livestock species.

BEIC says the government must also meet the needs of the UK production base whilst protecting the environment through reform of the planning system, to enable the sector to grow and meet consumer demand.

Finally, on public procurement, the manifesto calls on the next government to promote British ingredients within food products, and across the public sector, through procurement in schools and hospitals.