Asda hatches plan to save British egg trade

By James Knowles

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Free range Sainsbury's Asda Morrisons

Asda is calling on all food retailers to follow its lead after
launching a campaign to back British free range egg producers
against foreign competition.

The food retailer now only stocks free range eggs from the UK displaying the lion mark for food safety and welfare standards, which is not always displayed on foreign imports. Asda has named the 'dirty dozen' supermarkets that stock cheaper foreign imports, including Tesco and Sainsbury's.

A spokeswoman for Sainsbury's told that Asda's claims were unfounded, stating that Sainsbury's only stocked eggs from known audited British farms. Tesco's also told that they stock only British eggs.

"We're calling on them to follow our lead and commit to only buying British free range eggs instead of getting them from countries that don't carry the lion mark of quality,"​ said egg buyer Hannah Naseem.

The supermarket claims it is taking the indutry lead by launching the campaign to back British egg producers. However both Marks and Spencers already commit to stocking just British sourced eggs.

Asda's decision to commit to stock British eggs will take a similar format to earlier moves to work with a small group of dairy farmers earlier this year. The food retailer plans to work more closely with egg farmers over the next three years.

"There is no reason why British farmers can't supply all of the free range eggs consumers want to buy - but they need supermarkets to invest here in the UK, not abroad,"​ said John Widdowson, vice chairman on the British Free Range Egg Association.

The food retailer has made a number of changes in the way it sources its eggs this year, including releasing 500,000 laying hens from battery cages into open barns earlier this year. It also introduced Respectful, a range of eggs from hens fed on locally milled wheat, earlier this year.

Asda named the following as the 'dirty dozen' it claims fails to commit to sourcing British eggs: Tesco (yet to commit), Sainsbury's (yet to commit), Morrison's (stocking foreign), Somerfield (stocking foreign), Iceland (yet to commit), Aldi (stocking foreign), Lidl (stocking foreign), Budgens (yet to commit), Co-Op (yet to commit), Spar (yet to commit) and Kwiksave (yet to commit).

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