Gordon MP and SNP Westminster spokesperson on trade Richard Thomson has raised concerns with the UK Government that the new CPTPP (Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership) trade agreement risks allowing eggs produced overseas to lower welfare standards into the country.
Mr Thomson has written to the UK Secretary of State for Business and Trade Kemi Badenoch urging her to maintain the high levels of hen welfare and food safety in place by taking appropriate action to amend the CPTPP agreement.
Commenting, Richard Thomson MP said:
“It seems the UK Government has concluded yet another trade deal that will actively undermine our farmers and allow imports produced to lower standards to compete with home-produced eggs.
“These types of imports will undercut Scottish egg producers who operate to higher standards of animal welfare and food safety standards.
“The public have rightly become accustomed to the eggs in their food products being produced to these high standards and it creates a huge disadvantage for egg producers in Scotland and the rest of the UK who have invested in higher welfare standards over many years and brought their practices up to the highest standards which consumers have now come to expect.
“If the UK Government is serious about food security, supporting our farmers and, indeed, dealing with climate change by reducing food miles, it needs to urgently look again at this agreement as well as adopting a different approach to future trade agreements.”
The chief executive of the British Egg Industry Council, Mark Williams, has said:
“It is almost unbelievable that the government would let consumers down like this.
"Shoppers will be horrified to learn that eggs in their food products could soon be coming from battery cages more than a decade after they were banned here.
"To rubber stamp a deal which effectively sanctions the importation of eggs from conventional (battery) caged systems which are outlawed here is not only counter-intuitive, but it also completely undermines the countrywide standards that are adhered to by the UK egg industry."
The Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) is a free trade agreement between the 11 countries of Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru, New Zealand, Singapore and Vietnam.
The UK applied to join the agreement in 2021 and negotiations concluded earlier this year.