Free range egg farmers are calling for the UK’s major retailers to immediately increase the price of a dozen eggs in their shops by 40p to avert a catastrophe in the sector.
Farmers are being hit from all sides by huge hikes in energy and feed costs, as well as an increase in labour costs and raw materials.
The British Free Range Egg Producers Association (BFREPA) said a huge number of free range egg farmers are currently losing money on every egg laid by one of their hens. Some say they can last six months before they go bust, while others are on the brink now, the association said.
Farmers are asking for an increase in the price of eggs in the shops, but it is vital that the money makes its way down the supply chain to the farmers who need to save their businesses from collapse.
BFREPA’s chief executive Robert Gooch said enough is enough and that the sector’s appeals for help can’t be ignored any longer.
“For months we have been raising the desperate situation with all the major retailers, and they have all ignored the perilous position their farmer suppliers are in. We contacted Asda, Sainsbury’s, Morrisons, Tesco, Waitrose, Lidl, Aldi and Marks and Spencer – and not a single reply was received.
“There have been small rises in the price of eggs in shops, but that money has evaporated before it gets to the farm gate. It’s the same old story of the farmer at the bottom of the chain being the last to see any price rise.”
Mr Gooch continued: “This is not a false flag – the free range egg sector is in crisis and if something doesn’t change these farms will close and the people who run them will not have an income.
“This is a situation entirely out of farmers’ hands. The whole world can see that feed and energy prices have gone through the roof – that has consequences and we believe shoppers will understand the need for the egg price to increase on the shelves.”