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Agriculture: Eggs

House of Lords written question – answered on 24th November 2011.

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Photo of Lord Laird Lord Laird UUP

To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Henley on 24 November 2010 (WA 327), which 11 member states are unlikely to have complied with the European Union welfare of laying hens directive ban on battery cages by 1 January 2012; what is the current annual level of egg and egg product imports from those states; and how they will implement their intention of prohibiting egg and egg product from hens in such cages from entering the United Kingdom.

Photo of Lord Taylor of Holbeach Lord Taylor of Holbeach The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

All member states were recently asked by the Commission to provide the level of conversion as at 27 September 2011. Likely levels of non-compliance were discussed at a recent meeting in Brussels; to date, the Commission has not published this information.

However, at a European Parliament debate in October, the Commission acknowledged for the first time that Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, France, Poland, Portugal and Romania did not expect to be fully compliant. Another five member states had failed to provide any data to the Commission.

Discussions on finding a practical solution to the large-scale non-compliance from 1 January 2012 are ongoing in Brussels and we are working hard to ensure that any solution is as tight as possible to protect UK producers. In parallel, we are working with the egg industry, food manufacturers, the food service industry and retailers to look at what we in the UK can do to protect our compliant producers.

Data on shell egg and egg products imported into the UK from each EU member state are provided in the below table below:

Year 2010 Year 2011 (Jan-Sep)
Flow Monthly report description EU Country (Tonnes) (£000s) (Tonnes) (£000s)
EU Total Imports
Shell eggs for consumption
Austria 18 19
Belgium 353 556 118 148
Denmark 312 394 159 166
France 4,037 6,391 2,136 2,929
Germany 3,360 1,923 4,834 5,195
Greece 0 13
Irish Republic 4,053 3,000 4,184 2,999
Italy 222 541 36 137
Netherlands 11,228 17,530 3,471 5,065
Poland 881 845 598 541
Portugal 104 112 69 82
Spain 9,284 12,032 6,260 8,704
Sweden 0 42
Finland 167 146
Shell eggs for consumption Total 34,001 43,470 21,883 26,040
Egg Products for human consumption
Austria 165 842 303 619
Belgium 3,118 4,629 2,069 2,772
Cyprus 234 34
Czech Republic 2 8
Denmark 1,166 7,144 1,135 7,142
France 3,659 12,871 2,563 9,932
Germany 1,479 4,735 1,349 3,993
Greece 1 7
Hungary 3 36
Irish Republic 60 115 55 103
Italy 1,098 5,292 754 3,430
Luxembourg 84 339 48 194
Netherlands 19,119 30,785 12,049 19,932
Poland 140 648 61 252
Portugal 0 1
Spain 6,051 4,824 3,136 2,682
Sweden 466 1,580 23 154
Egg Products for human consumption Total 36,607 73,813 23,783 51,282
Total Imports EU Total 70,608 117,283 45,666 77,322

(c) Crown Copyright

Source: HM Revenue and Customs

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