Farming: Egg producers are missing out

A plea has been made to supermarkets and egg buyers to ensure that recent price rises on the shop shelves are reflected in the money paid to farmers.

While shoppers are paying 20p more for a dozen free range eggs, the British Free Range Egg Producers Association said that only a fifth of this was making its way to egg producers – at a time when the pressures being put on producers by rocketing feed, fuel and other essential costs show no signs of reducing.

The organisation’s chief executive Robert Gooch said that BFREPA had repeatedly warned that if egg producers didn’t receive at least 40p/dozen more, producers would be forced to leave the industry or pause production – a move which would lead to shortages of British eggs in six to nine months.Welcoming the small rise in prices in supermarkets Gooch said the increase needed to make its way to farmers, not into the pockets of the supermarkets and the egg packers.“Not one retailer has done what was asked and increased egg prices by 40p. Only then will many producers be able to break even,” said Gooch.He said that farmers couldn’t continue producing free range eggs at a loss – adding that the last thing the British public wanted to see was a watering down of the country’s excellent animal welfare and food safety standards.

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“But that is exactly what is coming as a shortage of British eggs on the shelves hurtles towards us,” he said.

And he warned that shortages would be made up with imports from countries with lower welfare and food safety standards.

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