St Ewe Free Range Eggs has revealed it is giving away half of its eggs to food banks, due to the closure of the hospitality and foodservice sectors, which make up half of its customer base.
The Cornish producer and packer said it was selling its eggs at locations throughout the county at a reduced rate, and for each tray it sold, was donating a carton of eggs to food banks.
The business has lost over half of its regular customers due to the pandemic. “Unfortunately, you can’t furlough a hen and our girls keep producing nutritious eggs, with no home to go to,” said founder Rebecca Tonks, in an update on the company’s website.
“We along with countless other packers in the UK face the heart-breaking reality of having to throw away these perfectly edible eggs, right when they are needed most.
“As we are all getting used to the lockdown way of life, it feels that the poultry farming industry has been hit particularly hard by this most recent one.
“Timing is everything, and the lead up to Christmas which had its usual buzz was followed by the plummet that falls in between Christmas and New Year; this year it has been faster and harder than ever. Combined with the third lockdown, uncertainty of Brexit and an increase in poultry feed prices, this cruel timing has left many poultry businesses in a dismal position.”
Tonks said she gave away 20,000 eggs last week, which were being distributed through local charities including The Chaos Group and FareShare.
The British Egg Industry Council said other producers who have surplus eggs they are struggling to sell should contact one of the egg wholesalers to discuss their options.