Egg industry groups celebrate as tariff lobbying pays off

The UK egg industry and welfare groups have welcomed the Government’s decision to maintain the current tariff on imported eggs and egg products as a win for welfare.

The British Egg Industry Council, in partnership with Compassion in World Farming (CIWF) and the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) had lobbied the Government on the issue, fearing that allowing egg imports would lead to lower standards of animal welfare.

The coalition warned this would potentially “destroy British egg farming”, where production costs are higher as farmers are no longer allowed to keep hens in battery cages and must meet higher welfare standards.

However, the group said this was not the end of the matter, and warned that the next stage is ensuring tariffs are not watered down in bilateral trade agreements with the USA and other countries.

‘No complacency’

Speaking on behalf of the coalition of BEIC, CIWF and RSPCA, Mark Williams, said: “This is excellent news and is what we have collectively lobbied extremely hard for. The UK egg industry, but more importantly British consumers, will continue to be protected by import tariffs on all our tariff lines.

“The new UKGTP has shown that the Government has listened to all our arguments, which we supported with strong economic evidence, of the likely consequences for our industry if they did not retain import tariffs.

We are delighted that they concluded that the UK egg industry should continue to be protected against imports produced to lower standards.

“We will not be complacent, however, and will be keeping a close eye on the Trade Bill that is currently working its way through Parliament, along with the bilateral trade negotiations with countries such as the USA, to ensure these tariffs are not removed or reduced.”