False free-range labelling based on egg shortage

17-11-2006 | |

Lack of availability of free-range eggs in Britain is believed to be at the core of the alleged mislabelling of 30 million cage-eggs each year.

Industry members report that chickens have been affected by the hot weather in the summer and autumn, laying fewer eggs.
Farmers also say they cannot afford to expand quickly enough to meet the growing customer demand for free-range eggs.
News is now circulating that British supermarket chains will switch to selling imported free-range eggs, a move which has angered UK farmers. Somerfield will reportedly be the first supermarket in the country to switch to selling French free-range eggs, with Iceland and Tesco potentially to follow.
British farmers wishing to expand their free-range operations can be held up by planning permission, and newcomers are being put off by the high level of cash investment needed, which is reportedly as much as £500,000 (737,000 euro).