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

Friends have identified the man killed in Friday’s shooting in Metchosin as Shane Wilson. (Shane Wilson/Facebook)
West Shore RCMP continue to investigate shooting death in Metchosin

Man killed on Sooke Road Friday night identified by friends

Ravi Jain, Why Not Theatre’s founding artistic director, will present a Zoom lecture as part of the University of Victoria’s Orion fine art series on March 8. (Photo: University of Victoria).
Award-winning directors highlight coming University of Victoria lecture series

The March 8 and 18 Zoom events are part of the Orion fine arts lecture series

Oaklands Elementary’s Division 5 Grade 4/5 class posed with Leila Bui (middle), her dad Tuan Bui (crouching to her left) and mom Kairry Nguyen (right) after presenting the family with a cheque for $710 raised by the students during a necklace sale in December 2020. (Photos courtesy Kairry Nguyen)
Victoria students raise funds for girl seriously injured when struck by vehicle in crosswalk

Oaklands Elementary class contributes to purchase of all-terrain wheelchair for Leila Bui

Saanich council recently adopted a 131-step climate action plan expected to cost $2.5-million in the first year of implementation. (Black Press Media file photo)
Tensions high as Saanich considers reigniting local area plan review

Majority vote pushes discussion to fall strategic plan check-in

Fire Chief Darren Hughes, right, pulls the old Firemans Park sign off ahead of the parks name change. The new sign for Firefighters Park is coming. (Oak Bay Fire Department Twitter)
Oak Bay changes the name of Fireman’s Park

New sign for Firefighter’s Park on the way

Const. Nancy Saggar, who has 11 years in policing, offers advice for other women who may pursue both policing and family. (Black Press Media file photo)
Pregnancy prompts sage advice from RCMP officer for women thinking about policing

West Shore constable with 11 years experience heads off on maternity leave

Montreal Canadiens right wing Paul Byron (41) fights for control of the puck with Vancouver Canucks defenceman Quinn Hughes (43) during first period NHL action in Vancouver, Monday, March 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Captain Clutch: Horvat nets shootout winner as Canucks edge Habs 2-1

Vancouver, Montreal tangle again on Wednesday

Rising accident rates and payout costs have contributed to billion-dollar deficits at ICBC. (Comox Valley Record)
B.C. appealing decision keeping ICBC injury cases in court

David Eby vows to ‘clip wings’ of personal injury lawyers

(BC SPCA)
Is it safe to give your dog some peanut butter? Not always, BC SPCA warns

Some commercial peanut butter ingredients can be harmful to dogs

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix provide a regular update on the COVID-19 situation, B.C. legislature, March 2, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 cases: 545 Saturday, 532 Sunday, 385 Monday

Focus on Prince Rupert, Lower Mainland large workplaces

Anyone with information is asked to call Nanaimo RCMP at 250-754-2345 or contact Crime Stoppers by calling 1-800-222-8477 or submitting a tip online at www.nanaimocrimestoppers.com.
21-year-old motorbike rider dies after crash with ATV on Nanaimo back road

Incident happened Sunday afternoon near Boomerang Lake

A special committee has been appointed to look at reforming B.C.’s police act and is inviting the public to make submissions until April 30, 2021. (Black Press media file)
Have thoughts on B.C.’s review of the provincial Police Act?

Submissions will be accepted until April 30

Cottonwoods Care Home in Kelowna. (Google Maps)
New COVID-19 outbreak at Kelowna care home includes fully vaccinated seniors: Henry

Two staff and 10 residents tested positive at Cottonwoods Care Centre

Most Read