Egg Producers have experienced increased angst over the past 12 months due to pinch points along the supply chain.
Grain has moved from $230 a tonne to over $520 a tonne. This impacts;
· Purchase price of day-old chicks, increased twice in the last 12 months due to feed costs
· Cost of feed for raring pullets (a young hen less than 1 year old) and
· Feed prices for laying hens
CEO of Egg Farmers of Australia, Melinda Hashimoto stated that ‘over the last 12 months we have seen retail prices move from $3 a dozen to $3.10 for caged eggs, $4.06 to $4.27 and free range from $4.87 to $4.95’.
Producers once purchasing day old chicks or pullets need to feed the hens until they are ready to produce eggs at around 21 weeks.
There has also been discounting by supermarkets. Egg Farmers of Australia implore supermarkets to stop discounting production systems to unsustainable levels and provide a fair price back to the farm gate.
Faced with reports of low production due to frost and dry conditions, as the drought continues, grain costs will continue to rise.
The only way to ensure a sustainable egg industry and an ongoing steady supply of eggs is for retailers to ensure prices provided to producers are reviewed regularly and reflect cost impacts.