About 44 percent of all eggs consumed in the UK in 2014 originate from free-range flocks, according to new estimates presented to the British Pig and Poultry Fair held near Birmingham. On the basis of figures from government agriculture agency Defra, this latest proportion would compare with 42 percent in 2010, approximately 20.5 percent in the year 2000 and only 10 percent in 1995-96.

But free-range represented 45 percent of the egg supply in 2012 and 46 percent in 2013, indicating that a plateau for market share is being reached after the rapid growth seen in the previous 10 years. 

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Data compiled by the British Egg Information Council have shown that the UK in 2013 produced 9.7 billion eggs and consumed 11.5 billion, for an average annual consumption rate of 185 per person. Egg sales nationally reached a value of GBP986 million (US$1.65 billion).

A new "Poultry Pocketbook" publication from the Agriculture and Horticultural Development Board states that over 50 percent of the 26.9 million cases of eggs at UK packing stations in 2013 were from hens in enriched cage housing. Another 3.3 percent came from barn-housed layers and organic added 2.25 percent.