With contaminated eggs from Dutch farms hitting the headlines, and research showing strong consumer demand for the use of British eggs in prepared foods, British Lion egg processors are calling on food manufacturers, retailers, and caterers to reconsider their egg sourcing.
Consumers want increased transparency from retailers, according to new research which revealed that more than 70% of shoppers expect prepared foods containing eggs to clearly show the eggs’ country of origin on pack.
The independent research, commissioned by British Lion Egg Processors, showed that consumers are increasingly concerned that foreign eggs are being used in the prepared foods they buy. That concern has grown in the lead up to Brexit, with more than a third of shoppers now more likely to look for ingredients’ country of origin on prepared food products and to purchase foods that specify British ingredients.
In fact, 40% of shoppers say they would be less likely to support a retailer if they used imported eggs in their products. Conversely, 85% would feel reassured if they saw the ‘Made with British Lion eggs’ logo on prepared egg products’ packaging because it clearly shows that the eggs being used are high quality, safe to eat and most importantly, British.
Ian Jones, Chairman of British Lion Egg Processors, said: “This is just the latest of a number of food safety issues connected to eggs produced outside of the UK in recent years. Consumers clearly want retailers, caterers and food manufacturers to use good quality British ingredients that are produced to high standards of food safety, but in some prepared foods this is not the case.
“As we approach Brexit, shoppers are growing increasingly concerned about the ingredients used in manufactured food and now more than ever want and deserve transparency on food packaging. The egg industry believes that this is a great opportunity for retailers to listen to the concerns of their customers and reassure them by specifying the use of British eggs and using the ‘Made with British Lion eggs’ logo on packs.”
Approximately 180 Dutch farms, including egg farms, are believed to have used a product containing Fipronil to treat red mite in poultry houses although Fipronil is banned for use around food-producing animals in the EU.
The Food Standards Agency has said that eggs have been distributed to the UK from the affected Dutch farms and may have been incorporated in other food products.
All major UK retailers stock British Lion shell eggs and tests have shown that there is no risk from British eggs.
Most eggs imported into the UK are used by caterers, or are processed for food manufacturers and other businesses for use in products with eggs as an ingredient.