Egg Producers Need Clarity on Cage-Free Transition

UK - Retailers who have said they will stop selling eggs from hens kept in enriched cage systems by 2025 must give their egg suppliers more clarity on timelines and what will replace the current production system, the National Farmers Union (NFU) has said.
calendar icon 27 July 2016
clock icon 2 minute read

Currently 40 per cent of shoppers buy eggs from enriched cage systems.

The NFU said it believes the decision, made by Aldi, Tesco, Iceland, Morrisons and Sodexo, to look for alternative production systems will force the egg industry into its biggest change since the end of battery cages and conversion to the enriched cage system in 2012.

This previous move cost farmers in excess of £400m at the time.

NFU poultry board chairman Duncan Priestner warned that this decision would not just impact on those using enriched cages but would have a knock-on effect on the entire egg sector.

“This change will impact greatly across all egg production systems so it is absolutely imperative that we and our members have clarity over retailers’ future plans and have our concerns addressed as soon as possible,” said Mr Priestner.

“Although 2025 is nine years away, time is of the essence to allow our producers to make the necessary changes, with minimal disruption to their businesses and to our customers – the British public - a market worth an estimated £895 million."

The NFU identified concerns over a lack of details to enable industry planning, and the time and investment needed to develop appropriate facilities for the new layer production systems.

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