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With the growth in free range over the last ten years introducing a whole new generation to egg production it is understandable that lessons hard learned get forgotten.
Whilst we have too easily become familiar with an enumerating array of influenza strains, diseases and cross contaminations we must not forget the one challenge that has to date proved to be the producer’s biggest foe – salmonella.
This foe shows no sign of allowing producers to rest on their laurels. A new highly drug resistant strain of salmonella – Heidelberg, a strain unknown to many, has emerged in the Americas resulting in large egg and poultry recalls. No producer wants to be the first to be linked with a new strain of salmonella in the UK.
Reports on both subjects covered at the conference are enclosed in this month’s copy of the Ranger.
Robert covers the contracts consultation in his comment and members are invited to contribute to the consultation.
The serious outbreaks in Belgium of HN3 with close to 50 farms losing up to 60% mortality to a low pathogenic strain of avian influenza, is raising concerns here in the UK.
Despite the seasonal increase in consumption over the Easter period, we are still reporting expansion outstripping demand offsetting any seasonal benefits.
Large eggs are still the buzzword, although some retailers have been putting more emphasis on selling medium and mixed weight eggs.
It is a fine balancing act that we tread in making consumers aware of a hens’ laying cycle in relation to egg sizes. Over 40% of eggs laid are large or very large and with retailers demand for these grades being so strong, the large egg price has held firm whilst the medium egg price has been under constant pressure, having reduced by 10% over the last 10 months.
We are trying to raise awareness of other sizes without reducing the demand for large.