Contractual relationships in the UK egg industry

Closed 22 Dec 2023

Opened 31 Oct 2023


The UK government is committed to tackling contractual unfairness where it exists in the agri-food supply chain. At the UK Farm to Fork Summit held at Downing Street on 16 May 2023 we announced a new review into fairness in the egg supply chain. This builds on the reviews we already have underway using powers under s.29 Agriculture Act 2020 to improve transparency and fair contractual dealing in the dairy and pig sectors.

The chicken egg sector has faced numerous significant challenges over the last several years that have impacted egg supplies. Global impacts have resulted in input costs for feed and energy rising significantly at the same time as the sector has dealt with the impacts of the unprecedented Avian Influenza outbreak. Industry has reported that the population of laying hens in the UK, which was 43 million in 2021, fell to 38 million in 2022.

UK consumers have driven demand for free-range eggs. As a result, in 2022, over 60% of the eggs produced in the UK were free range (see quarterly UK statistics about eggs to June 2023). Further changes are likely to come to the sector in coming years, with major UK retailers committing to phase out eggs produced by caged hens by 2025.

This consultation will focus on eggs produced by chickens for human consumption and any reference to ‘eggs’ is intended to refer to chicken eggs. This consultation follows similar consultations that have already taken place looking at the dairy and pig sectors and is UK government’s next step in delivering on our commitment to consult on the need for supply chain fairness regulations on a sector-by-sector basis.


  • Food Industry
  • Non-Government Organisation
  • Retail Industry
  • Farmers


  • Egg industry