Egg producers in B.C. aren’t obligated to reveal their production sites. (Sarah Simpson/Citizen)

Egg producers in B.C. aren’t obligated to reveal their production sites. (Sarah Simpson/Citizen)

Officials say there’s not enough Vancouver Island eggs to meet demand

BC Egg Marketing Board doesn’t regulate labelling, supply needed from off-Island

The BC Egg Marketing Board says graders and suppliers are not obligated to tell consumers where their eggs are being produced.

In a Black Press Media story published last week titled “Vancouver Island egg producer cries foul over ‘Island’ label,” Farmer Ben’s Eggs owner Jen Woike said consumers may not understand that their eggs from rival companies may not be actually laid the Island.

“B.C. does not produce enough eggs to meet our needs so graders may be required to bring eggs to B.C. from other parts of Canada in order to fill the market,” said Katie Lowe,the executive director of the BC Egg Marketing Board. “Whether or not a grader chooses to disclose the specific farm the eggs came from is up to them and not something that is currently required.”

RELATED: Cowichan Milk Company: from grass to glass, bottled milk right to your door

RELATED: Cowichan offering beer made from recycled bread

How those eggs are labelled is not in the purview of the BC Egg Marketing Board.

“B.C. Egg has no mandate to interfere in the relationship between the grader and retail outlet,” Lowe said. “We audit farmers to ensure all regulations are being met. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency is the organization in charge of labelling requirements in Canada.”

A call to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency was not immediately returned.

President and CEO Margaret Hudson said Burnbrae Farms, which produces Island Gold eggs, said it is proud to be associated with the Jensen family of Westholme in the Cowichan Valley, who began selling eggs in British Columbia in the early 1950s.

“We purchased Island Eggs from the family in 2007, and a member of the Jensen family still serves as office manager. Today we employ 50 Islanders and pick up eggs from 32 egg farms on the Island and the Lower Mainland to help meet the growing demand for B.C. eggs,” Hudson said. “We will continue to do everything we can to supply Island-raised eggs to those who prefer them.”

Hudson noted that 20 per cent of the B.C. egg market is made up of Burnbrae eggs and their “fulfillment rate to our grocery store customers on the Island is over 98 per cent”.

Hudson said the COVID-19 pandemic has put all producers in a tough spot.

“When the pandemic quarantine started, we saw a sharp increase in demand for eggs at retail because we were all at home, cooking and baking more. Burnbrae Farms and Island Eggs produce more than a dozen different types of shell eggs, from free-range to veggie fed to organic, to meet the needs and expectations of all consumers and to provide a complete selection for our grocery retail customers,” she said.

“The unexpected increase in demand meant we ran short of some types of eggs at various times in some parts of the country. Our team worked diligently to re-balance the egg supply, which also included redirecting eggs that were destined for food service to retail channels. To ensure Canadians have the eggs they need every day, we move eggs from provinces that have an oversupply to those that have unmet demand.

“British Columbia does not produce enough eggs annually to meet its ever-rising consumer demand, nor does Vancouver Island have sufficient egg production to meet the needs of those living on the Island. This was true even before the pandemic.”

For more news from Vancouver Island and beyond delivered daily into your inbox, please click here.



sarah.simpson@cowichanvalleycitizen.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

cowichan valley

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A poignant Pandemic Postcard Project submission has led Lesley Wright and Graham Hughes of Literacy Alberni on a new path toward anti-racism education. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)
Literacy Alberni tackles racism

Society receives $50K in funding to create web-driven reporting system

Kelly McGiffin, left, Dwayne Stern, batboy Jackson McGiffin and Kirk McGiffin are reviving the Port Alberni Cubs—this time as an over-55 baseball team. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)
Port Alberni’s McGiffin brothers revive Cubs baseball at 55-plus

The boys of summer are 55-plus now, but back on the baseball field

The intersection at 10th Avenue and Dunbar Street. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
Safety improvements planned for Port Alberni intersection

10th Avenue and Dunbar Street is an “intersection of concern” based on incident data

Members of Huu-ay-aht First Nations conducted two checkpoints on Monday, May 10, asking people who enter the territory to respect the sacred principles and to act accordingly while on Huu-ay-aht land. (SUBMITTED PHOTO)
Huu-ay-aht First Nations set up checkpoints in territory

Access restrictions come after forestry incidents

Bulldogs forward Brandon Buhr is knocked off the puck by Grizzlies defenceman Lindsay Reid. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
BCHL: Alberni Valley Bulldogs beaten back-to-back by Victoria Grizzlies

Victoria Grizzlies named Island Champions while Bulldogs take second place

A bullet hole is seen in the windshield of an RCMP vehicle approximately 4 km from Vancouver International Airport after a one person was killed during a shooting outside the international departures terminal at the airport, in Richmond, B.C., Sunday, May 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Homicide team IDs man in fatal YVR shooting as police grapple with spate of gang violence

Man, 20, charged in separate fatal shooting Burnaby over the weekend

Keith MacIntyre - BC Libertarian
Penticton’s Keith MacIntyre new leader of the B.C. Libertarian Party

The Penticton businessman was voted in by members of the party on May 8

RCMP are searching for Philip Toner, who is a 'person of interest' in the investigation of a suspicious death in Kootenay National Park last week. Photo courtesy BC RCMP.
Man sought in suspicious Kootenay death found in Lake Country

Philip Toner is a person of interest in the death of Brenda Ware

Vernon North Okanagan RCMP reported to 287 mental health calls between Jan. 1, 2021, and May 1. (Black Press files)
‘It’s not the police’s responsibility to deal with mental health calls’: Vernon RCMP

RCMP remind public to take care of mental health and well-being, while better solutions are sought

Thompson Rivers University campus is in Kamloops, B.C. (KTW file photo)
Thompson Rivers the 1st B.C. university to supply free menstrual products

The university will offer the products this September

Fraser Health is using ‘targeted’ vaccination clinics in high-risk areas of the Lower Mainland. (Fraser Health photo)
B.C.’s COVID-19 decrease continues, 515 new cases Tuesday

426 seriously ill people in hospital, up from 415 Monday

A scene from the Schoolhouse Squat from October 2018, where Alliance Against Displacement members and supporters occupied the Rutherford Elementary School site, advocating for people experiencing homelessness. (News Bulletin file)
‘Schoolhouse Squat’ activists get conditional discharge in Nanaimo school occupation

Ivan Donald Drury, Tingchun (Listen) Chen sentenced in provincial court in Nanaimo

The site of Sunfest, Laketown Ranch, will be open for camping this summer. (Citizen file)
Sunfest country music bash won’t be shining on B.C. in 2021

Annual Vancouver Island Festival cancelled due to COVID-19, along with Laketown Shakedown

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Most Read