Free range egg producers claim they’re being left to pick up the bill for spiralling feed, energy, transport and labour costs while prices for their product remain static.
The British Free Range Egg Producers Association (BFREPA) says eggs are a key battleground among supermarkets, where prices are driven down in the fight for market share, and figures from the Office for National Statistics show that consumers are paying less for eggs now than they were seven years ago.
In July 2014, a dozen free range eggs cost £3.09, while in September 2021, shoppers paid an average of £2.14. Meanwhile, the average price paid to farmers shows the average is 91p per dozen as of November 1.
BFREPA chief executive Robert Gooch called on retailers and packers need to “step up” and make the adjustments necessary to reflect the financial pressures free range egg producers are experiencing.
“Free range egg producers are always at the bottom of the pile,” he said.
“Everyone else in the supply chain secures their margin by passing the rising costs down the chain, so they inevitably get left at the farmer’s door.
“BFREPA has campaigned for fair, robust contracts to be available which allow for movement in the price paid to farmers as input costs, such as feed, increase and decrease.
“These contracts have been adopted by some retailers and packers but there are numerous examples of these contracts being broken now that inflationary pressures are rising.
“This simply isn’t fair and can’t be allowed to continue.”