Farmer Fury At Dutch Freedom Food Imports

by 5m Editor
3 August 2007, at 11:13am

UK - EGGS from Holland are being imported into the UK under the RSPCA’s Freedom Food label in a move that has been condemned by the NFU as a ‘betrayal’ of British egg producers.

Dutch egg giant, Kwetters, received accreditation under the animal welfare scheme, described by the RSPCA as the ‘only UK farm assurance scheme dedicated to improving farm animal welfare’, on July 9.

Eggs from the company, a worldwide exporter producing 1.3 billion eggs a year, will now be sold by UK retailers under the Freedom Food label.

Kwetters is not the first non-UK company to carry the Freedom Food label. Five Irish egg producers and a French turkey breeder have been accredited for some time, and in May a Spanish poultry producer gained approval, although it is only selling chicken in Spain.

However, the move to give accreditation to a company supplying eggs seemingly to UK retailers has infuriated egg producers.

NFU poultry board chairman Charles Bourns said the RSPCA was effectively exporting the UK egg industry. He said problems with getting planning permission for free-range units and low prices paid to producers had held back supply but insisted the RSPCA was ‘wrong’ to look abroad to meet the shortfall.

“This is a betrayal of British egg producers. They built the Freedom Foods label up as a British scheme with their money and now this is a kick in the teeth for those producers,” he said.

“What farmers need is higher prices for free-range eggs, then they will be able to meet the demand.”

Source: FarmersGuardian

5m Editor