THE egg sector has also battled against a sharp rise in imports this year.

Shell egg imports have exactly doubled in the first eight months of this year, compared with the same period last year, according to the latest figures from Defra.

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It was highlighted by a report in the Guardian in late October, which warned that lower-welfare eggs were being imported into the UK in ‘staggering’ numbers.

Both the NFU and the British Egg Industry Council have expressed concerns over the rise.

The report highlighted Poland and Italy in particular as countries which have significantly increased exports to the UK.

Total imports

As a whole, egg imports have increased in every month this year.

The cumulative total up to August was 39.8 million dozen, compared with 19.9m doz last year.

The Central Egg Agency reports that large quantities of Polish eggs in particular have been finding their way on to the UK market.

This is said to be partly due to exports from Ukraine undermining the market in Poland.