Farmers urge British consumers to mix it up on Stir-up Sunday

23 November 2018

FARMERS URGE BRITISH CONSUMERS TO MIX IT UP ON STIR-UP SUNDAY

Free range egg farmers across Britain are urging the public to mix it up when it comes to the size of eggs they use in their Christmas pudding recipes this Stir-Up Sunday.

On 25 November bakers across the country will put on their aprons to carry out a British tradition dating back to the Victorian era, when families would gather together to make their festive pudding.

But this year farmers are calling on consumers to quit their obsession with using large eggs in the recipe and instead buy a box of mixed weight to support what hens lay naturally; a range of egg sizes.

James Baxter, a free range egg producer and chairman of the British Free Range Egg Producers Association (BFREPA), said: “British consumers have a love affair with large eggs and we don’t really know why.

“It’s a relatively new phenomenon which is probably driven by a perceived sense of value and modern recipes insisting on large eggs when traditionally size wasn’t specified.

“We want consumers to understand that hens lay a range of sizes – from small to large – and we would love to see shoppers choosing mixed weight or medium eggs which are just as nutritious and tasty.”

Only half the eggs an average hen lays in its lifetime will be large, with the rest being medium or small.

Eggs are graded by weight and the increase in size is more attributable to the quantity of white rather than the amount of yolk where the lion’s share of nutrition is found.

BFREPA says bakers should follow the Womens’ Institute – a global authority on baking – which has many Christmas pudding recipes using medium eggs or where size is not stipulated.

About 13billion eggs are eaten in Britain every year and BFREPA says shoppers prefer to buy large or very large eggs rather than medium or mixed weight boxes, and too often recipes are misleading when they state the size of the egg needs to be large.

James said: “We want to consumers to know that bigger is not always better.

“In the run-up to Christmas, we would love to see more consumers buying medium or mixed weight boxes of eggs which contain medium and large eggs – it’s better for the hens and supports what they lay naturally.”

BFREPA launched its campaign in October with a video featuring free range egg farmer Susie Macmillan and her 18,000 organic free range hens.

She explains the main difference between a medium and a large egg is not the size of the yolk – where the bulk of the nutritional value is contained – but simply a greater quantity of white.

More than 85k people have watched the video on Facebook with dozens pledging to make the change to medium or mixed weight boxes.

Watch the Facebook video here.

ENDS

  • A free range hen will typically lay 55% large or very large eggs and 45% medium, smalls and second quality eggs (source: ADAS / The Ranger magazine)
  • Eggs are graded as very large (over 73g), large (63-73g), medium (53-63g) and small (below 53g)
  • Free range egg producers typically receive 6p/dozen less for medium eggs than a large egg (source: ADAS / The Ranger magazine)
  • BFREPA is the voice of the British free range egg industry representing the interests of over 500 producers
    60% of eggs purchased by consumers through retailers are free range
  • The average UK consumer eats 196 eggs every year meaning the UK consumes 12.9billion eggs every year
  • For interviews and images contact ben@evecommunications.co.uk or call 01327 438 617