February 3, 2023


Free-range eggs from England need to be labelled as barn eggs



The UK Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) has announced that eggs from free-range flocks in the east of England must be labelled as barn eggs, with the rest of the country following suit on February 27, following housing orders imposed due to the bird flu outbreak, The Grocer reported.


The move is in accordance with the UK Eggs Marketing Standards Regulations, which require labelling changes after a 16-week grace period in the aftermath of a regional  and subsequent national mandatory housing order.


Defra said that retailers and suppliers would have the same packaging options as last year. This means that where other options, such as over-stickering or marketing eggs in "barn-reared" boxes, are not feasible, the industry will be allowed to use direct print to pack or an affixed label on free-range boxes to communicate to consumers that the eggs are now barn reared.


This was in response to the sector's rising prices, according to Defra.


Mark Spencer, Minister of State for Food, Farming and Fisheries, said he hopes that the labelling concessions will help ease the burden on the domestic poultry industry.


The labelling regulations will be in effect until the housing order is lifted.


Over the last two years, the UK has experienced its largest-ever outbreak of avian influenza, with over 300 cases confirmed since late October 2021, 270 of which have been in England.


-      The Grocer

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