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Eilidh Whiteford, MP for Banff & Buchan

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Whiteford Seeks Support From Supermarkets For Scottish Egg Producers

Friday, 8 July 2011

SNP MP for Banff & Buchan, Dr Eilidh Whiteford, has called on the UK’s biggest supermarkets to support local egg producers by only stocking eggs and egg products that comply with a new European Council directive, when it comes into force on January 1st 2012.

The Directive sets down minimum standards for improving the welfare of laying hens and prohibits the use of conventional ‘battery’ cages.

Dr Whiteford highlighted that although egg producers in the UK had invested some £400 million in implementing the requirements of the Directive, not all egg producers across the European Union would meet the deadline, raising concerns that ‘illegal’ eggs and egg products would find their way into the UK market.

Speaking today on a visit to local egg producer Robert Hay’s farm at Luncarty, Turriff, Eilidh Whiteford MP said:

Dr Eilidh Whiteford with Robert Hay
(photo by permission of Duncan Brown)
“I am concerned that when the Directive comes into force at the beginning of next year, some 80 million hens across the European Union will continue to be kept in ‘illegal’ conventional cages. This represents millions of inferior eggs and egg products which cannot be allowed to make their way into the UK market.”

“This is a golden opportunity for supermarkets to show their commitment to a sustainable and ethical supply chain, by supporting Scottish egg producers who have complied with the law and invested in improved animal welfare.

I have sought assurances from Tesco, ASDA and Morrison’s that they will only stock eggs and products made with eggs that comply with the new EU Directive. Anything less would undermine the investment made by Scottish farmers in improving animal welfare standards; and consumer confidence in the quality of the products they are buying.”

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