29 May 2017 | Online since 2003

15 August 2012

Barradale Eggs Lion registration terminated


Kent packing company Barradale Eggs has had its Lion licence withdrawn for breaches in the Lion scheme’s code of practice.

Termination of the company’s licence was confirmed by the British Egg Industry Council (BEIC) after the Ranger asked the BEIC to either confirm or deny rumours that had begun circulating about Barradale both verbally and on the internet.

The BEIC responded by issuing a statement that read, "Following an unannounced audit of Barradale Eggs on 18th July 2012, several critical non-conformances and a number of other non-conformances were identified at Barradale Eggs’ packing centre, in contravention of the Lion Code of Practice. In consequence, Barradale Eggs’ use of the Lion Mark was immediately suspended.

"BEIC takes the breach of the Lion Code of Practice by Barradale Eggs extremely seriously. Barradale Eggs was given an opportunity to explain how these multiple critical non-conformances arose but BEIC did not receive a satisfactory response and therefore BEIC has been left with no option but to withdraw Barradale Eggs’ Certificate of Registration and terminate its Lion Mark Licence Agreement."

The rumours spreading through the egg industry suggested that foreign eggs had been found at Barradale’s premises - one report suggested that the eggs came from Spain and Holland - and that foreign egg may have been marked with the Lion symbol. However, the BEIC responded to this particular rumour by saying, "It must be stressed that there is no evidence that Barradale Eggs has placed on the market non-Lion eggs labeled as Lion eggs. Barradale Eggs did not and does not package eggs for any leading supermarkets."

The rumours had been picked up by the British Free Range Egg Producers’ Association (BFREPA), which sought to establish whether there was any truth in the circulating allegations. We understand that both the Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency (AHVLA) and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) were aware of the rumours, although a breach of the assurance scheme code would be a matter for Lion.

Barradale operates as both a packer and wholesaler of eggs. It is based at Barradale Poultry Farm, 
Maidstone Road, Headcorn, from where it services an area including Mid Kent, North Kent, West Kent and London. The firm says it supplies independent supermarkets, retailing outlets, hotels and caterers, including Michelin starred restaurants.

No-one at Barradale was available to comment on the BEIC’s decision at the time the Ranger went to press.

Members are urged to report any instances of fraud or wrongdoing to their local BFREPA council representative.

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