18 August 2018 | Online since 2003

1 July 2014

BEIC Monthly Update

Beak trimming continues to dominate the political agenda for the egg industry. In May BEIC decided that the time was opportune to raise this issue further. As a result of this we wrote to the industry asking everyone to get behind a campaign to lobby our MPs. This is so important for the whole of the egg industry. We were therefore delighted to undertake this in association with both the NFU and BFREPA.

It cannot be overstated how important it is for everyone involved in the industry to write to their MP to try and avert a major policy mistake. The proposed timetable for a ban on beak trimming in 2016 is simply not a realistic timeframe. The results coming from some of the non-cage trials show that the mortality rates in non-trimmed flocks can be worryingly high.

To those who have already written to their MP – thank you.

Last month also saw elections take place to the European Parliament, with EU citizens going to the polls to elect MEPs for the next five years. BEIC is committed to working with all those elected in the best interests of the UK egg industry.

Over the next few weeks we will know who the new Commissioners will be, who the new Chairman of the Agriculture and Rural Development Committee of the European Parliament will be and what the composition and number of the political groupings in the Parliament are.

The bilateral negotiations continue at EU level with a number of trading partners. The main problem with these is that they are Free Trade Agreements that are intended to ‘remove’ import tariffs rather than seek to further reduce them. We have a real problem with this, and this is why so much effort is going into lobbying for ‘sensitive product’ status for our vulnerable egg and egg product tariff lines.

Whilst we do not start out with a protectionist position as a matter of course, we do feel that when our industry has done everything asked of it by policy makers and regulators, we have a legitimate case to make for a degree of protection.

We are sure this chimes with public sentiment. For example how many EU citizens realise that since conventional cages were banned in 2012, we still import eggs for processing or egg products, which are produced by hens housed in the same cages we have just banned? This is morally wrong.


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