The lion passant that appears on egg shells and egg boxes in the UK was introduced to communicate to consumers that the eggs they purchase are produced following a strict code of practice.
The Lion Quality mark and Lion Quality Code of Practice were launched in 1998. The code includes compulsory vaccination against Salmonella enteriditis of all pullets destined for Lion egg producing flocks, independent auditing, improved traceability of eggs and a “best-before” date and logo stamped on the egg shell and pack, as well as on-farm and packing station controls.
To guarantee traceability, all breeding farms, hatcheries, rearing and laying farms, feed mills and packing centres involved in the production of Lion Quality eggs must be approved.
All Lion Quality hen flocks must be accompanied by a passport certificate and all Lion Quality egg movements must be fully traceable. A dedicated website allows consumers to trace where their eggs are from.
The impetus for the introduction of the Mark and the Code can be traced back to the late 1980s and a headline-grabbing politician making pronouncements on the state of the UK egg industry.
New industry measures followed, along with the development of a new Salmonella vaccine, and the new code of practice and trademark came into operation in the late 1990s. At the same time, a new advertising campaign was introduced to alert consumers to the benefits of eggs.
The association of the red lion with eggs in the UK, however, can be traced back to the 1950s when it was used by the then Egg Board to denote that eggs were produced in the UK. Looking further forward, the organizers of London 2012 Olympic Games have stated that all eggs used at the event must be British Lion mark.
For more information on Lion Quality, go to: www.lioneggs.co.uk