March 2, 2023


Irish Farmers' Association says poultry farmers exploring export markets for eggs



The Irish Farmers' Association (IFA) said local poultry farmers are looking to export their eggs for higher returns, with the country only months away from a possible egg supply shortage as producers exit the sector, Irish Examiner reported.


Brendan Soden, vice-chair of the IFA's poultry division, has warned that if nothing is done, Ireland could experience egg shortages just like in the UK. He also estimates that the country could suffer serious consequences if producers are not given the support they need to keep supplying the Irish market.


Soden said the UK is also affected by the spread of bird flu, but Ireland is lucky with the low number of cases it has had in the past few months, adding that the possibility that producers could owe hundreds of thousands of euros in the event of an incident is terrifying.


Nigel Sweetnam, the chair of the IFA poultry division, stated that Irish farmers are currently looking into export markets to sell their eggs because these markets offer higher returns.


Sweetnam said  Irish farmers are not ready to experience what has become abundantly clear in the UK egg market and the shortage they are facing as a result of inaction.


Egg prices have increased in Irish supermarkets, but there has been a "failure to implement egg producers' demand" for a fair price, and the amount farmers receive is "abysmal," Sweetnam said.


In 2022, egg producers demonstrated outside of retailers, requesting that the egg packers and retailers return the additional 2 cents per egg to the farm.


The IFa said discount retailers have responded positively following the protests, but the same cannot be said of all retailers.


Soden said many farmers are carrying more credit now on feed.


-      Irish Examiner

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