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The secrecy surrounding salmonella can contribute to the complacency, but you can fully understand why the industry is nervous at the very mention of the word. The Edwina Currie episode threw the industry into a deep depression from which it has still not recovered.
The Lion Code was born as a direct result of that depression and it is my believe that whilst there are many improvements that need addressing from this recent outbreak the Lion roared when it was needed.
The Edwina Currie incident affected public confidence in eggs and there was no accreditation scheme for the industry to rally round. Yet here we are 25 years later with several salmonella cases, but importantly they were found by the Lion and dealt with by the Lion and the public can still have confidence in the Lion doing what the Lion is meant to do.
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.