The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has today (Tuesday, October 31) launched a review focused on ending “unfair practices” in the egg supply chain.
The views of egg producers, packers, processors, retailers and other stakeholders involved in the egg supply chain will be considered as part of the review which will run until December 22.
Defra said the review follows a series of global challenges for the egg sector, including increased energy and feed costs.
Creating fairer supply chains will ensure that producers can operate with greater confidence and protect consumers’ access to high-welfare British eggs, the department said.
Food and Farming Secretary Thérèse Coffey said: “Producers should be paid a fair price for their high-quality produce, which is why we are committed to ensure there is fairness across food supply chains.”
Defra said the review is delivering on a commitment made in May this year by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak at the Farm to Fork summit in Downing Street.
“At the Farm to Fork summit in May, the government pledged to support the farmers by undertaking a review into the egg sector to ensure fairness moving forward,” Coffey said.
“I would now encourage all stakeholders from across the industry to take part in this review to ensure their voices are heard.”
Chief executive of the British Free Range Egg Producers Association (BFREPA), Robert Gooch, said the association has been calling for a review of egg supply agreements “for some time”.
“The consultation on the workings of the egg supply chain is needed to provide further stability for the sector and to ensure that there is no repeat of egg shortages in the future,” he said.
Deputy chief executive of the British Egg Industry Council, Gary Ford, said:
“The BEIC welcomes the supply chain fairness review and will be promoting the consultation to all stakeholders in the supply chain.
“The review will focus on understanding how the contractual arrangements within the sector currently function, and whether there is the need for further legislation to oversee the relationship between producers and buys where necessary and facilitate a fairer and more transparent supply chain.”