Almost 30,000 Brits sign petition against supermarkets using imported eggs in British food

Almost 30,000 British shoppers have signed a petition demanding that supermarkets ditch imported eggs, and use British eggs for own-label foods produced in the UK. 

Launched by British Lion Egg Processors, the petition has already gained a huge amount of support from members of the public, MPs, including Neil Parish, Jim Shannon, Rosie Cooper and Grahame Morris, as well as celebrity influencers including Myleene Klass.

Research shows that while consumers put their trust in British supermarkets to sell safe products and be transparent with their sourcing, they are continuing to use a significant number of imported eggs in pre-prepared foods, such as quiche, egg sandwiches and salads, that do not meet the same safety standards as British Lion eggs.  

With boxes of shell eggs on sale in the major retailers clearly labelled and produced to British Lion standards, consumers expect egg ingredients to be the same*.

In recent years there have been a number of food safety issues associated with egg products produced in Europe and further afield. Using imported eggs also adds unnecessary food miles, and does not guarantee the high standards set out in the Code of Practice for the Production of Lion Quality Egg Products.

Andrew Joret, British Egg Industry Council Chairman, said: “To have more than 25,000 signatures calling on retailers to use British eggs for food made in Britain, is fantastic and shows the public’s strength of feeling, but we’re just getting started and expect the number to keep rising until the supermarkets demonstrate their willingness to commit to British eggs.

“British shoppers should have the right to choose foods made with egg that meet the highest food safety standards, whether that’s an egg sandwich, or scotch eggs, and be told clearly where the eggs come from. They do not have to accept lower standards.

“And it’s not simply about standards, they want to support British farmers and by signing the petition are sending a clear message to the supermarkets.

“Retailers now have a timely opportunity to demonstrate their commitment to the highest standards of food safety, show support for British farming post-Brexit and give their customers exactly what they want.”

A survey** of 3,000 British shoppers on their attitudes towards the use of eggs and egg ingredients by major retailers showed overwhelming support for the increased use of British egg ingredients and clear labelling:

  • 2/3 of shoppers asked were disappointed to discover that the egg in certain food they buy is not always British
  • More than 60% of shoppers are worried about the quality and safety of eggs produced in other countries
  • Almost half of shoppers would change what or where they buy their food if they discovered British eggs were not being used.
  • Shoppers want to see the British Lion mark on foods that contain eggs, with more than three quarters saying they would have more confidence about the quality of foods, like salads or scotch eggs, if they knew where the egg had come from
  • 75% said they would be more likely to purchase a product if the packaging featured the British Lion

Shoppers can add their voice to the call for retailers to commit to British eggs for British-made food, and show they are not willing to accept lower standards, by signing the petition here:

*meat, milk and boxes of shell eggs display country of origin information.

**Consumer research into attitudes towards eggs and egg products – 3,000 nationally representative UK 16+, 26.8.20 – 1.9.20