FREE-RANGE egg farmers are calling on retailers to ensure that price rises for eggs on supermarket shelves are passed back to producers.
Data from the British Free Range Egg Producers Association (Bfrepa) suggests shoppers are paying 20p more for a dozen free-range eggs, but farmers are only receiving an extra 4p/doz.
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Meanwhile, there has been no let-up in the pressure being put on producers as the cost of feed, fuel, and other essential inputs show no sign of reducing.
Bfrepa has repeatedly warned that if egg producers don’t receive at least 40p/dozen more, some will leave the industry or pause production, leading to shortages of British eggs in six-to-nine months.
The association’s chief executive, Robert Gooch, said: “We welcome the small rise in egg prices in supermarkets, but it needs to go further, and the money needs to make its way to farmers, not into the pockets of the supermarkets and the egg packers.
“Not one retailer has done what was asked and increased egg prices by 40p. Only then will many producers be able to break even.
“Farmers cannot continue producing free-range eggs at a loss and the last thing the British public wants to see is a watering down of its excellent animal welfare and food safety standards – but that is exactly what is coming as a shortage of British eggs on the shelves hurtles towards us.
“Retailers will likely make up the shortfall with imports from countries which don’t adhere to the same high welfare and safety standards we have here in the UK.”
BFREPA has campaigned to prevent farmers from going out of business following a year of growing costs.
The cost-of-living crisis rages on and has worsened the situation for farmers who have been hit with soaring feed and fuel costs that show no signs of abating.
The situation for UK producers is unsustainable, with many producers already contacting BFREPA to cancel their membership after deciding to leave the industry.