British free range egg farmers ask celebrity chefs for support
Celebrity chefs such as Mary Berry, Jamie Oliver, Rick Stein and Raymond Blanc, among other well-known names, have been asked by free-range egg farmers to help end Britain’s obsession with large eggs.
The chairman of British Free Range Egg Producers Association (BFREPA), James Baxter, has written to high-profile chefs and bakers to ask for their support in this campaign. The organisation says hens naturally lay a range of sizes and hopes that consumers can be convinced to try a box of medium or mixed weight eggs rather than large. "We are a nation of food lovers and that is driven on by the fantastic chefs and bakers we have in this country. Free range eggs are a staple of British diets but shoppers have become obsessed with getting the biggest egg they can.
Egg size can be affected by a number of variables such as the weather, diet and light levels – as farmers bird welfare is our number one priority and we want to allow hens to lay what comes naturally. We hope that these letters will resonate with chefs and bakers who are in positions of influence but, more importantly, care deeply about how food is produced,", explained Mr Baxter.
60% of eggs purchased by British consumers are free range but retailers are still promoting large eggs. A free-range hen will typically lay 55% large or very large eggs and 45% medium, smalls and second quality eggs, according to scientific data. The average UK consumer eats 196 eggs every year meaning the UK consumes nearly 13 billion eggs every year.
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