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 Full text 
Wednesday, 24 March 2010 - Brussels OJ edition

Agricultural product quality policy: what strategy to follow? (debate)

  John Stuart Agnew (EFD). – Madam President, first, may I declare an interest? I am an egg producer.

Regulations must be honestly implemented to a common standard. That is essential. An EU-inspired crisis will shortly hit the UK egg industry. From 1 January 2012, the production of eggs in battery cages is banned. The ban does not apply to eggs from Romania or Bulgaria, and perhaps others, who have a temporary immunity under their accession treaties.

As long as they are processed, these countries may legally export battery-cage eggs produced after the ban to the UK.

UK egg producers who have invested very heavily in alternative systems will be expected to compete at a disadvantage against imported products which can be produced far more cheaply.

I must insist first that these imported products are clearly labelled and secondly, and most importantly, that we introduce with immediate effect an additional number ‘four’, for eggs produced using colony systems. Only then can consumers make an informed choice.

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