The Ulster Farmers’ Union recently hosted an open meeting for Northern Ireland based producers and packers of enriched colony eggs.
The meeting attracted over 50 producers, all keen to give their views on the decision by the major retailers to end sourcing of enriched colony eggs by 2025.
The main concerns raised at the meeting surrounded current levels of debt in the sector.
The UK poultry industry has only recently completed a £400 million upgrade from battery cages to enriched colony systems.
Now with that investment made they face uncertainty, due to lack of clarity from retailers on what production system they want in the future.
After the meeting, the UFU said it would discuss with the British Egg Information Council (BEIC) how to ensure this change is managed carefully.
It will also seek further information from retailers, so that producers will have more clarity about what is happening.
The UFU will also be urging banks and government to ensure support is available to the sector as it deals with this major change of approach by retailers.