Industry expert warns of empty shelves and a shortage of egg sandwiches post-Brexit
Britain should brace itself for a shortage of egg sandwiches and empty supermarket shelves post-Brexit, experts have warned.
The British Egg Industry Council, which is behind the Red Lion standard, has said even if Britain does leave the EU on March 29 with a deal a shortage of eggs, which are vital ingredients across the food industry, is inevitable without a contingency plan.
The average supermarket carries around 10,000 products in which eggs are an ingredient, so a shortage could have a major impact on food supplies leading to empty shelves across the country, not just in the sandwich aisle.
In addition to uncertainty over potential tariffs , British Lion is also anticipating delays and confusion over the requirements of new paperwork for those choosing to import egg products after March 29.
Recurring issues with the safety of eggs and egg products produced abroad also remain a concern.
Ian Jones, British Lion egg processors chairman, said: "We've talked about a 'Breggsit' storm brewing but it's now here, and that won't change, deal or no deal.
"We will work with manufacturers and retailers to manage their requirements as best we can but it needs to be made clear that those conversations need to happen sooner rather than later.
"It should also be made clear that the ramifications of Brexit on egg products supply are unlikely to be resolved quickly so food businesses also need to work with the processing industry on long-term sustainable agreements to minimise its impact.
"I strongly urge food businesses across the UK to 'trust the Lion' and rely on British Lion eggs and egg products – for both surety of supply and food safety – ahead of the UK's departure from the European Union in March 2019."
The UK flock has significantly increased in recent years to meet growing demand for British Lion egg products but with time running out for food businesses to secure supply, and a surge in demand likely as companies belatedly try to ensure surety of supply and avoid the uncertainty associated with specifying imported egg products, significant supply issues are expected.
- This article first appeared on Yahoo