Massive increase in UK free-range eggs
Experts are now predicting that more than half of the eggs produced in Britain will be free-range within the next five years.
The current level of 33% is expected to increase to over 50% following new EU restrictions on the use of hen cages, as well as the growing demand from UK retailers, as well as final consumers.
By 2012, free-range eggs are expected to account for 55% of British egg production, which translates into another 9 million hens being kept in free-range conditions.
According to National Farmers’ Union poultry board chairman Charles Bourns, the extra land for the free-range increase was already causing problems with planning permission.
“If people want this food and they want it to be local then it has to be produced somewhere. It is a big problem and I see that as the major stumbling block.”