More than 25,000 people have signed a petition set up by British Lion Egg processors calling on UK supermarkets to stop importing eggs.
The petition, on the social media Change.org platform, calls on Aldi, Asda, Co-op, Iceland, Lidl, Marks and Spencer, Morrisons, Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Waitrose, and Ocado to use British eggs for foods made in Britain.
British Lion Egg processors say importing foreign eggs to produce foods like quiche in Britain for British supermarkets is morally wrong.
“As shoppers we put out trust in British supermarkets to sell safe products and be transparent with their sourcing but they continue to use a significant number of imported eggs in pre-prepared foods, such as quiche or egg sandwiches, that don’t meet the same food safety standards as British Lion eggs. Shoppers are unaware of what they’re being sold because there is little or no information on the pack.”
Launched by the British Egg Industry Council (BEIC), processors say with boxes of shell eggs on sales at supermarkets produced to British Lion quality standards, research shows consumers assume the eggs in the food they buy are also British but in many cases they are imported.
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“In recent years there have been a number of food safety issues associated with egg products produced in Europe and further afield. Using them also adds unnecessary food miles and does not meet the guaranteed, high standards provided by the Code of Practice for the production of Lion Quality Egg Products.”
There is currently a surplus of free range eggs with the egg trade yet to feel any real benefits from the latest easing of Covid restrictions, which opened up the hospitality sector on 17 May.
The campaign comes at time as a new survey by the British Guild of Agricultural Journalists has found that nearly 8 in 10 British people believe imported food should meet the same environmental and animal welfare standards as food produced in the UK.
BGAJ President Baroness Rosie Boycott said the survey showed that the public’s attitudes towards food and farming standards remained clear and that safeguarding agriculture’s world-leading high standards should be a priority for the government.