July 8, 2022


UK egg producers not benefitting from rising egg prices


Farmers in the UK said rising egg prices in the past few weeks are not benefiting producers, which could result in farmers reducing output or leaving the sector, The Grocer reported.


Data from Assosia shows that between 21 March and 4 July, there were a total of 241 price increases and just three price cuts across the big four UK supermarkets, Waitrose, Lidl, and Aldi, with many lines seeing multiple rises. UK egg prices have been steadily increasing in the major supermarkets over the past two months.


During this time, there were a number of notable price increases, including a 30.3% increase in an Aldi 6-pack of Merevale British Free Range eggs, a 27.5% increase in a large Morrisons 6-pack, and a 25% increase in an identical retailer's Big and Free 6-pack.


But the British Free Range Egg Producers' Association (BFREPA) warned supermarkets and egg buyers this week that they were not doing enough to make sure that in-store price inflation was being passed on to egg producers despite the price increases.


According to the most recent data available to BFREPA, consumers are now paying about GBP 0.20 (~US$0.24; GBP 1 = US$1.20) more for a dozen free-range eggs than they were at this same time last year. Robert Gooch, CEO of BFERPA, said farmers only received an additional GBP 0.04 (~US$0.048) or roughly 20% of those increases. He also noted that this amount fell far short of the GBP 0.20 (~US$0.24) per dozen increase BFREPA has been advocating for to address rising on-farm costs.


Gooch reiterated warnings that have already been made on a number of occasions this year, saying that without such a move on prices, many egg producers were planning to halt egg production or leave the industry, raising concerns about a shortage of British eggs in six to nine months.


He said many producers are unable to break even. The last thing the British public wants to see is a weakening of its excellent animal welfare and food safety standards, but that is exactly what is coming as a shortage of British eggs on the shelves, he warned. Farmers would not be able to continue producing free range eggs at a loss.


Retailers will probably make up the shortfall by importing goods from nations that don't uphold the same strict welfare and safety standards as the UK.


-      The Grocer

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