1980s to 1990s

By the early 1980’s, eggs were no longer considered a luxury and were fast becoming one of the nation’s favourite foods.

This change in the public’s tastes meant that there was a growing demand for ever cheaper food. This meant that Bird Bros had to keep pace with the changing market and build larger, more efficient buildings.

There was another threat to the company’s survival. In 1988, Edwina Currie, the then junior health minister, stated that most of the egg production in the UK was infected with salmonella. Egg sales in the country plummeted by almost 60% overnight. Bird Bros faced one of the most difficult periods in the company’s history, and were sometimes forced to dump large numbers of eggs at landfill sites due to lack of demand.

Sales of eggs dropped throughout the following ten years, as shoppers had lost confidence in British eggs. The British Egg Industry Council (BEIC) was formed in the mid-1990s with the co-operation of the majority of the UK’s leading egg packers and producers to reverse the trend and boost British egg farming. Naturally, Bird Bros were extremely proud to be one of the founding members of this new body.

In November 1988, the Lion Quality Mark scheme was re-launched and was warmly welcomed by food safety experts who had been critical of the UK egg industry beforehand.

Since November 1998, 130 billion high quality Lion eggs have been sold, £100 million has been invested by the UK egg industry in the British Lion scheme, two million Lion eggs have been tested and more than 50,000 audits have been carried out. The Lion scheme is the only UK egg-specific assurance scheme that meets the stringent demands of the EN 45011 international accreditation standard.

Bird Bros eggs have had the Lion Quality mark of accreditation since 1988. That’s over 25 years of putting the best quality eggs on British tables.