The UK Egg Industry - Free Range or Barn?
Charlotte Smith looks into the state of the British egg industry at a time of great change. We eat about 200 eggs per year, that's including those in cakes, and the UK flock counts about 38 million birds. The retail egg market is worth around £1billion a year.
Supermarkets and egg producers say they will have stopped cage-produced eggs by 2025, but what will they be replaced by? Many assume it means we'll see a substantial increase in free range eggs. However, Tom Willings, Chief Operating Officer at Stonegate, egg suppliers, explains to Charlotte why that may not necessarily be the case. He's concerned that with many mixed farms showing a keen interest in entering the egg production industry, perhaps in response to the end of reliable EU farm subsidies, that the sector could soon reach a state of over supply.
Other contributors include Mark Williams, Chief Executive of the British Egg Industry Council, while Sarah Falkingham visits an egg producer in East Yorkshire who says he'll continue with his colony cage system beyond 2025 and for as long as it turns a profit. Toby Field visits the Pig and Poultry Fair which took place this week to try and define what a free range egg is, but finds that this is a trickier task than you might think.
Producer: Mark Smalley.