Food Law News - EU - 1997

18 July 1997: EGGS - Special Marketing Terms (SMT): Further Update

MAFF Letter, 18 July 1997

Eggs: Special Marketing Terms (SMT): Further Update

The letter reports on a meeting held on the 15 July. From the views the delegates were prepared to discuss at the meeting, it appears that it will be difficult for the Commission to discern a clear consensus on the detailed criteria. Final written comments have been requested by the Commission by 1 September prior to the next meeting on the 17 September.

Within the egg marketing negotiations, the different market situations and climatic conditions within Member States predispose delegates to certain views. For example, in the UK we are most familiar with ‘free range’ and ‘barn’ production, in Finland it is ‘deep litter’ and in Greece there is non SMT production. On points of detail, there is a clear divergence of view on whether the external stocking density for free range should be 1,000 (existing free range) or 4,000 hens (existing semi intensive) per hectare. The UK view is that the existing 1,000 figure should be retained. Several Member States wanted to retain the distinction between ‘deep litter’ and ‘barn/perchery’ eggs rather that merge the criteria and use on term - ‘barn’.

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