The British Free Range Egg Producers Association (BFREPA) is to meet members up and down the country to discuss solutions to the ongoing crisis in the sector.
Contract reform, production cost data, and avian influenza will be the main topics tackled at the meetings, which take place from January to March.
CEO Robert Gooch said the aim of the meetings is to bring the industry even closer together in a bid to find ways in which the “dire situation farmers are facing” can be overcome.
“The turmoil experienced by the free range egg industry last year highlighted how important robust contracts and access to accurate data really are,” said BFREPA CEO Robert Gooch.
“An understanding of the costs of production is more essential than ever before, and should be the basis upon which new agreements with packers should be signed.
“We will be sharing our data and asking for feedback on how it can be improved to help farmers understand the risks and rewards.”
The BFREPA costings, compiled independently by ADAS, are increasingly being used by government, retailers and packers in monitoring the egg supply chain and in developing improved egg supply agreements.
“ADAS will present how it calculates these monthly figures and debate with members how they can be improved,” said Gooch.
“Additionally, I will update members on Defra’s informal review of contracts in the egg supply chain and recent progress on improving producer contracts. With the launch of a ‘bed and breakfast’ contract from one packer and more looking at cost of production contracts, BFREPA would like to hear from members on their preferred types of egg supply agreements.”
Information on bird flu and over-stickering will also be presented and discussed at the meetings, where all egg producers will be welcome.
“Those egg producers who aren’t BFREPA members can find out more about the organisation and why they should consider joining – as an organisation, more members means an even stronger force for lobbying and industry support in the future,” said Gooch.
The meetings are taking place in Diss, Ardingly, Exeter, Shrewsbury, Lincoln, Milnthorpe, Darlington, Llandindrod Wells, Lauder and Inverurie, with Northern Ireland dates to be announced shortly.
Meetings are open to members and non members, and can be booked via the BFREPA website.