I’m a member of your constituency and a Liberal Democrat Member, and I am seeking your support for an amendment within the current regulations for the European Parliament and the council on the provision of food information to consumers COM(2008) 40.
ENV Committee Vice-Chair Carl Schylter MEP has proposed commission amendment (No 362) for the inclusion of farming production method for all multi-ingredient foods containing eggs or egg products. This proposal supports an identified need for animal welfare labelling resulting from a significant number of consumers being interested in high-quality products across the European Union. For these consumers, high quality often includes higher animal welfare standards. In 2012 the EU bans the conventional ‘battery’ cage; following the ban the EU is likely to see increased imports of conventionally caged hens eggs produced outside the EU to supply food processing companies and the foodservice sector.
Egg packs containing shell eggs have to be labelled with the farming method, therefore consumers can (and are) choosing to purchase eggs raised by higher welfare standards. Processed food which contains egg/egg derivatives does not need to be labelled with farming method making it difficult for consumers to choose higher welfare products produced on EU farms. To uphold EU welfare standards it is vital that consumers are able to distinguish between processed food containing eggs produced by hens in conventional cages and those produced by higher welfare standards in the EU.
I would like to see clear labelling on food products containing eggs from caged hens and would like to see greater incentives for British free range and barn farmers through Government aid. I’ve already written to my MP Gerald Kaufman to ask him to support EDM 234: PRODUCTION METHOD LABELLING ON PROCESSED FOODS CONTAINING EGG AND EGG DERIVATIVES,which supports the barren cage ban and the provision of such labelling. He signed the motion, and I hope that you will agree with the sentiment and on March 16th please vote in support of amendment No 362.
Visit the Battery Hen Welfare Trust for more information.