Public urge retailers to put an end to imported egg products

Over 35,000 people have put their name to a petition calling on retailers to source more British eggs
Over 35,000 people have put their name to a petition calling on retailers to source more British eggs

Retailers have been urged by the public to stop importing eggs for use in British products following a viral petition which has gained over 35,000 signatures.

British Lion egg processors launched the petition, which has received substantial backing from MPs such as Neil Parish, Jim Shannon and Rosie Cooper.

The assurance scheme said importing foreign eggs to produce foods in Britain for British supermarkets was 'morally wrong'.

It has called for UK retailers to source eggs for all egg-based products from British farmers.

The body said imported eggs used in pre-prepared foods, such as quiche or egg sandwiches, did not meet the same food standards as British Lion eggs.

Nearly 90% of UK eggs are now produced within the Lion scheme, and the Food Standards Agency (FSA) has praised the sector for the huge decline in Salmonella associated with eggs.

But research by the assurance scheme shows that more than 60% of consumers were 'worried' about the quality and safety of eggs produced in other countries.

In recent years, there have been a number of food safety issues associated with egg products produced in Europe and further afield.

Those asked by the survey said they assumed the eggs in the food they buy were British, only to be 'disappointed' to discover they were imported.

Using them also adds unnecessary food miles and does not meet the guaranteed, high standards provided by British Lion, the group said.

Andrew Joret, British Egg Industry Council chairman, said: “To have more than 35,000 people calling on retailers to use British eggs is a momentous achievement, and will make a huge difference in encouraging more retailers to ‘buy British’.

"It shows just how strongly people feel about their right to choose food made with eggs that meet the highest food safety standards and support British farmers.

"Consumers deserve to be told clearly where the eggs in their food come from, whether it’s an egg sandwich, quiche or a scotch egg."

He added: “We have already had positive feedback from some retailers and this milestone will help remind them, and others, how important this issue is to British consumers.

"Our mission now is to continue raising awareness and encouraging others to support the movement.”

The online petition has been signed by over 35,000 people as of Friday 12 November.