Matecna: Self-sufficiency in Egg Production Is in State's Strategic Interest
Bratislava, February 7 (TASR) – Increasing social pressure to stop production of hen eggs from cage farming creates the risk that Slovak eggs will disappear from shops in the future, said Agriculture Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Gabriela Matecna (Slovak National Party/SNS).
Therefore, she initiated the agreement on co-operation with representatives of the Retail Association (ZO SR) and the Slovak Union of Poultry Breeders (UHS). Its aim is to preserve Slovakia’s self-sufficiency in egg production and ensure availability of high-quality and safe Slovak eggs for Slovak consumers.
According to Matecna, Slovakia’s self-sufficiency in such a significant food as eggs is a strategic interest of the state. There’s a need to realise that eggs are a super-food and at the same time they are present as an ingredient in a huge number of meals. Therefore, the state must do its utmost for producers of Slovak eggs, which – unlike foreign ones – are not hit by food scandals, to be able to ensure their sufficient supply for Slovak consumers, said Matecna.
The minister, UHS and ZO SR officials signed the memorandum on co-operation by 2030. All the three parties are undertaking to co-operate in ensuring Slovak eggs for domestic consumers. The ministry will seek sources of finance to support the transition of Slovak poultry farmers from cage into litter, aviary and free-range laying hens.
Slovak egg producers are exposed to the pressure from foreign retail chains. These declare already now, without mapping out possibilities of litter eggs supplies, that they will get rid of eggs coming from cage farming. Almost 80 percent of total egg production in Slovakia comes from the enriched cage farming.
“We realise that the process of refusing eggs from cage farming by foreign retail chains is irreversible. However, we need to stress there are no logical grounds for it and arguing with the protection of laying hens is nothing but an excuse. The quality and composition of eggs doesn’t depend on the way in which laying hens are bred, but on the composition of their fodder,” said UHS director Daniel Molnar.