Despite a 20p increase in the price of a dozen free-range eggs at retail level last month, producers were only receiving an extra 4p/dozen on average.
Robert Gooch, chief executive of the British Free Range Egg Producers Association (BFREPA), said: “We’re seeing prices moving up at retail level. We did an analysis in June and prices at retail level had gone up 20p/ dozen – we’re asking for 40p/dozen.
“The downside of the 20p/dozen increase at retail level is that prices have only gone up at producer level by 4p/dozen, on average – there’s a 16p/dozen gap there and the next part of our campaign will look at that.
“Either the retailer is keeping, or the packer keeps it, or a combination of the two. The supply chain is retailer, packer, producer – in that order. Producers are only getting 4p/ dozen, and the rest of the chain is keeping the remainder.”
The BFREPA Council recently agreed two new initiatives, one of which is a retailer pledge to support the industry and get the supply chain to make a commitment to pass down price increases.
BFREPA is drawing up an egg pledge and is asking every business and individual in the supply chain to sign up to it in support and solidarity of the free-range egg industry. Details of how to sign the pledge will be published shortly.
Gooch said: “Signing the pledge is a commitment to make sure that any retail price increases get down to producer level.
“Supermarkets need to make sure that their packers, who are the intermediaries between the producer and themselves, pass on the price increases that they’re managing to put in at retail level.
“Consumers are now paying more and have heard the campaign and those who have spoken to us are very supportive of it. They’re willing to pay more for it to come down to producers, but unfortunately it’s not getting there, and it has to get there. Otherwise, we will make it clear that it’s not getting there in the next stage of our campaign.”
At this rate, Gooch said that in eight or nine months’ time, there will be shortages and prices will go through the roof as a result.
“Or there’ll be many imports and we’d have to say, ‘we told you so’,” he added.