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Who would have imagined that in a month where Parliament was prorogued and a no deal Brexit still lingered, with all the challenges that brings for the egg industry, it would not make the top two issues affecting egg producers this month?
I will leave those challenges for others to cover in this Ranger – where they are able to do so. However, there are reports that the egg market is picking up slightly earlier than expected. Whilst some producers have seen price decreases, others have had a stay due to those packers winning new contracts and now needing egg. A few months’ ago, I would have dismissed claims of any egg price in the seventies – now there are reports of egg producers in the high sixties – an unsustainable price which can only lead to ruin. Whichever way you turn your balance sheet you cannot make an egg price in the seventies never mind the sixties.
Tickets are now available for the BFREPA Conference at the NEC, Birmingham on the 15th October via the BFREPA website, the theme is ‘Fit for the Future’.
There have been a number of price reductions over the last week in what appears to be a race to the bottom.
Whilst I understand that there is oversupply, there really is no justification for price reductions apart from an attempt by retailers to increase their profit margins.
Supply and demand is being used by retailers as a model to dictate their margins – I find little evidence that it influences the producer price on the upside – with the current price a long way from being reflective of the consumer price.
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.