Egg processors have described as an “alarming trend” figures that reveal egg imports up almost 8% in the first five months of 2013, when compared with the same period in 2012.

DEFRA UK egg statistics for January to May 2013 revealed that 1.3m cases – the equivalent of 468m eggs – were imported, up from 1.2m eggs the year before – a 7.6% rise.

Ian Jones, chairman of British Lion Egg Processors, said that, although the UK market had been disrupted in 2012 due to the conventional cage ban, “availability of top-quality British Lion egg products has now been restored so this is an alarming trend”.

Mr Jones cautioned against the use of imported egg, pointing to salmonella outbreaks and dioxin contamination scandals on the continent.

“It is imperative that food manufacturers, retailers and caterers understand the potential risks that may be involved when using eggs and egg products that do not have the guaranteed food safety and welfare standards of the British Lion mark,” he said.

Mr Jones added that, with Italy and Greece still not compliant with the conventional cage ban, “an element of risk” remains with importing egg products.

“Using British Lion eggs and egg products within food products and the Lion logo on packaging is an easy way to reassure consumers, guarantee responsible sourcing and highlight the quality of food products,” he said.

More on this topic

Greece and Italy face charges on hen welfare

Lion egg adorns Albert Hall