Soaring feed prices – exacerbated by the war in Ukraine – have added 30p to the cost of producing a dozen eggs, with farmers suffering. Around 15% of farms are said to be “imminently at risk”.
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UK farmers are demanding a 40p price hike for a dozen eggs to avert a shortage crisis and save livelihoods.
The ‘save our eggs’ plea comes as industry groups have warned the crippling cost of chicken feed is leaving farmers on the brink of bankruptcy as they lose money on every egg their hens lay.
Figures from the British Egg Industry Council (BEIC) show that feed prices have risen by 50% in the last two years, while total production costs have risen by 30% in one year.
Medium-sized eggs are now cheaper at less than £1 for a pack of six, down from £1.35 10 years ago, but low shelf prices are leaving farmers out of their pockets, BEIC said.
Soaring feed prices – exacerbated by the war in Ukraine – have added 30p to the cost of producing a dozen eggs, with farmers suffering.
Around 15% of farms are “imminently at risk,” the BEIC said.
Andrew Joret, Chairman of the BEIC, added: “The tidal wave of cost increases will mean that many family farms, some of which have been producing eggs for generations, will perish within days unless action is taken quickly.”
Production has already been ramped up after laying hen numbers fell by four million in a year as farmers cut losses and halted production to save their operations.
Mr Joret said: “The situation was unsustainable before the terrible war, but feed prices have increased dramatically in an unprecedented way and farmers cannot absorb these costs and run a profitable business.
“Eggs are one of the most underrated natural whole foods – packed with protein, vitamins and minerals. They provide the whole family with nutritious meals at a fraction of the cost of some other proteins.”
According to research, households want to buy British eggs, but unless prices rise, they will be in short supply in supermarkets, BEIC said.
Mr Joret said: “It is our top priority to maintain the usual supply of British eggs, most of which are produced to the world-leading Lion Code quality and welfare standards, which are enjoyed by so many people in the UK every day.
“However, without a quick realization of the seriousness of the situation, a significant number of British farmers will not survive to continue to ensure that one of the nation’s favorite homemade foods is available on the table.”
Along with the British Free Range Egg Producers Association (BREPA), BEIC is urging major UK supermarkets to take “urgent action” and help save the industry by raising prices.
Robert Gooch, executive director of BFREPA, said calls for help have so far gone unheeded.
He said: “For months we have addressed the desperate situation at all major retailers and they have all ignored the dangerous position of their agricultural suppliers.
“This is not a false flag – the free range egg sector is in crisis and unless something changes these farms will close and the people running them will have no income.
“This is a situation completely beyond the farmers’ control. The whole world sees that feed and energy prices have gone through the roof.
“There are consequences and we believe that shoppers will understand that the price of eggs on the shelves must rise.”
https://www.mirror.co.uk/money/british-farmers-lose-money-every-26606642 UK farmers are "losing money on every egg" as they demand a 40p price hike