Sainsbury’s slammed for importing eggs from Spain and Italy despite pledging to only sell free-range, British ones

Sainsburys European egg fury
Spanish and Italian eggs have been spotted for sale. (Image: Lewis Robertson)

SAINSBURY’S have come under fire for importing barn eggs from Spain and Italy, after promising to “fund the future of British farming” and only sell cage-free eggs.

Furious shoppers have accused the supermarket giant of being unsupportive of British farmers for the controversial move.

The retailer announced last year that by April 2020, all eggs sold in store and online would be sourced from free range farms in the UK.

But dozens of shoppers have spotted the imported eggs – supplied in plastic packaging instead of recyclable cardboard – across branches over the UK.

Sainsbury’s todayresponded to criticism online admitting that they have “sacrificed their longstanding commitment” to keep up with customer demand.

Dozens of Sainsbury’s customers have taken to social media to slam the company for going back on their promise.

Last night, Kim Dewhirst took to Twitter to complain, fuming: “Hey Sainsbury’s, are you importing Spanish barn eggs?

“You terminated British barn egg contracts as you wanted to go fully free range but now I hear you are importing Spanish barn eggs #supportbritishfarmers my a***!”

Sainsbury's European egg fury
Sainsbury’s pledged their eggs would be cage-free by April this year.

She added: “You’re buying policy isn’t exactly going to plan is it. Not exactly ‘funding the future of British farming’.”

Lesley Morris tweeted a photograph of the eggs in a Sainsbury’s branch alongside a screenshot from the store’s website where they set out their “100% free range egg commitment”.

She wrote: “Very sad to see barn eggs on sale. How long has this been going on #brokenpromises.”

Sainsbury’s responded to customers this morning, writing: “Our customers are baking and cooking more at the moment – in fact people are buying an average of 2 million more eggs from us each week.

“To make sure we could meet this demand without sacrificing our longstanding commitment to only stocking cage-free eggs, we have temporarily sourced some barn eggs from Europe.

Sainsbury's EU egg fury
Shoppers vented their fury online. (Image: Lewis Robertson)

“We hope to offer 100% British eggs again soon, and go back to working towards our commitment to only offering free range too.”

Others took to Facebook to vent about the decision.

Charlotte Jordan wrote: “Shame on you Sainsbury’s.

“We have plenty of British eggs to eat in environmentally friendly cardboard boxes in the UK.

“Lots of antibiotics used in Spain and air miles to get here. What were you thinking.”

Rick Dewhirst said: “Jeez. They are desperate.”

Aaron Stevens wrote: “Sainsbury’s, six chickens have had to live in a barn for a day for 37p. Eggs from an Italian chick barn farm.”

Aaron’s post attracted hundreds of comments from Facebook users.

Sainsbury's EU egg fury
Sainsbury’s say they are committed to helping British farmers. (Image: Lewis Robertson)

Tracie Martin wrote: “37p for six eggs? Bloody ridiculous.

“Those poor chickens, they don’t get a life, it’s not even an existence.

“Shame on you.

“I’m not a vegan., but it’s disgusting.”

And Tina Hill said: “Poor chickens living in cramped conditions for Sainsbury’s to sell cheap eggs.

“Should only sell free range eggs.”

A spokeswoman for Sainsbury’s today said: “Demand for eggs is exceptionally high at the moment, as customers spend more time at home cooking and baking – in fact, people are buying around 2 million more eggs from us each week.

“We are already sourcing millions more eggs from across the UK by working with our suppliers to offer mixed weight packs.

“We have also been working with the wider UK egg industry to identify opportunities to expand our supply base.

Sainsburys EU egg fury
The retailer blamed increased demand for eggs in lockdown for the decision.

“For example, we now offer British liquid egg which is usually used by hotels and restaurants and have also sourced shell eggs which are usually sold into food service outlets.

“Unfortunately even this was not enough and in order to continue our longstanding commitment to only stock cage free eggs for our customers we have been forced to temporarily source more eggs from other countries.

“We are committed to sourcing British as much as possible.

“British suppliers are telling us that they are now able to provide us with more eggs and hopefully this continues and we’ll soon be able to revert back to our usual range.”