Consumers and the rest of the food chain should support the British egg market when new European welfare rules for hens are introduced later this year, according to the United Kingdom's National Farmers' Union.


Producers in the UK have already spent £400 million to meet or exceed European legislation which will make it illegal to produce eggs from conventional battery cages, said NFU president Peter Kendall. He said he hopes consumers will respond by buying locally, rather than purchasing foreign eggs that might now be cheaper. “UK producers have invested significantly in higher welfare standards to meet the demands of the EU Welfare of Laying Hens Directive, but producers in some countries will have not," said Kendall. “British egg producers must not be punished for playing by the rules, taking risks and putting themselves on the line and having the foresight to convert their units to meet the directive.