When I was re-elected as the vice chair of the NFU’s national poultry board in March 2022 I said that British poultry production is among the best and most sustainable in the world and I am keen to continue sharing that story with the public. Even though it doesn’t always feel comfortable, we must engage with consumers so that they can make informed choices when shopping.
I keep laying hens on my farm in Leicestershire and together with my brother we run our family business. We are proud to produce, pack and supply our own fresh, nutritious eggs for people to enjoy. One of the best things is to see a customer collecting their eggs from our vending machine and connecting with where their food is produced.
Battling rising costs
The egg sector is currently facing a difficult period with rising energy costs and the threat of avian influenza, as well as the impact of labour availability on businesses across the country. However, eggs provide a versatile, affordable, and nutritious protein source and I am proud to produce eggs to high standards so that consumers can enjoy eating them.
Whilst working to find solutions to some of the biggest challenges the sector has ever faced, we must also embrace the opportunities to shout about all the positive elements of egg production. Eggs are versatile and can be used in many ways. Whether they are scrambled, boiled, or fried or enjoyed as part of some of our favourite dishes such as quiches, Yorkshire puddings, cakes and pasta. Egg whites are also used in the fining process to make wine!
In 2021 we produced 11.3 billion eggs in the UK and by being 92% self-sufficient, British eggs are finding their way into people’s eggcups throughout the country every single day. Average consumption currently stands at 202 eggs per person per year and has grown from 171 eggs per person per year in 2004. Most of the growth has been in retail consumption, which has risen from 1.6 eggs per person per week to 2.3 eggs per person per week. Industry estimates suggest this equates to 120 eggs per person per year.
One of the NFU National Poultry Board’s priorities is to promote the benefits of poultry meat and eggs and we are keen to support members who want to get involved in such activities. There are several ways to do this, and we can all help by sharing key messages when speaking to people, whether it be a neighbour or friend, government official or end customer.
We're encouraging members to promote all the benefits eggs have to offer by getting involved in World Egg Day on Friday 14 October. This year’s theme is ‘eggs for a better life’ and we've created a selection of selection of ready-made graphics that you can download and share to help spread positive messages around poultry production. Don't forget to use the hashtag #WorldEggDay.
For more information on World Egg Day check out World Egg Day | Join in the Global Egg Celebrations (internationalegg.com)