There could yet be a silver lining in the German egg and poultry dioxin scare as British egg suppliers look to capitalise on the incident by increasing exports of British eggs to the Continent.

The scare which engulfed Germany last week after it emerged feed contaminated by dioxins had made its way on to farms led to some UK supermarkets recalling products made with the potentially affected eggs.

This week, in the wake of the scare, British Lion Eggs said it had already seen an increase in enquiries about Lion egg products and had also answered a number of enquiries from abroad for egg products to be used in food destined for the UK market. "We fully expect more manufacturers and retailers to recognise the additional benefits of Lion egg products, consolidating the demand for British egg products," said Clive Frampton, chairman of British Lion Eggs Processors.

NFU chief poultry adviser Robert Newbery said the German dioxin scare had highlighted that there was already an active trade in eggs between the UK and other European member states. "I'm sure we'll see more demand for British eggs going into Europe," he added.

Supplier Oaklands Farm Eggs said it was aware of some processors switching from German to British eggs but added it was likely this was a short-term measure, with suppliers switching back to cheaper imported eggs when they could.

Between January and October 2010, 10,262 tonnes of shell eggs for consumption with an import value of £16.4m were imported from the Netherlands, and 1,669 tonnes, worth £1.6m, came in from Germany.

Both countries were embroiled in the scandal as some liquid egg entered the UK from Germany via the Netherlands.

It emerged this week that five men connected to the Irish pork dioxin scare of 2008 have been arrested in Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic. The men are being questioned on suspicion of fraud and misrepresentation.