Official UK data shows retail prices for eggs have increased 27% over the last year alone.


According to BFREPA, it costs a farmer about 138 pence to produce a dozen eggs. But buyers are only paying around 109 pence while retailers are selling them for between 219 and 410 pence.

Ballooning costs and bird flu have hurt farmers across Europe, with global egg production expected to fall for the first time ever this year, according to the EU’s largest producer, French group CNPO.

Some 750,000 UK birds have been culled due to bird flu and there is no guarantee they will be replaced, but more may fall victim to financial pressures.

Daniel Brown, whose 44,000 hens lay 40,000 eggs a day at his farm at Bury St Edmunds in eastern England, says a recent 18 pence per dozen price increase offered some relief, but he was still not breaking even.

“We explained clearly to the retailers why the price needs to go up, what the cost increases are, what the consequences will be and they just ignore you,” he told Reuters. “And then it plays out.

“It is basically ‘I told you so’, but it doesn’t give you any satisfaction.”

Last month Tesco, Aldi and Waitrose between them said they had provided an additional 29 million pounds ($35 million) of support to the egg industry.

The British Retail Consortium, which represents the supermarkets, says they recognise the need to pay a sustainable price to farmers, but say they are also facing higher costs.

Brown said he will decide by April 2023 whether it is worth re-stocking birds for another production cycle but warned industry capacity won’t improve any time soon.

“If the retailers were to come to the industry today with a brilliant offer and say ‘have another 70 pence a dozen’, it would still take six to eight months to rear enough birds to replace those that have been lost,” he said.

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