The Ranger magazine is the leading authority in free range production. Published monthly by the British Free Range Egg Producers Association it is available to members in printed format and digital download. To access back issues you have to be a member of the Association.
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BFREPA’s recent presentation of the first phase of a specially commissioned sustainability project conducted in association with Promar at the Pig & Poultry online seminar was a huge success.
The report accompanying the presentation, entitled ‘The Net Zero and Environmental Sustainability in Free Range Egg Production’ is included in this issue of the Ranger magazine. The report is an introduction and aims to be a guide towards explaining how we can aim to reduce emissions and move towards a more carbon-efficient future.
The study identifies practical management practices and capital investments farmers can make to improve their environmental footprint while also promoting business efficiency. The findings show that the largest contributor to emissions on a free range egg farm is bought-in feed, which typically makes up more than 85% of an egg’s carbon footprint.
The market turned very weak very quickly, which after Easter is not unusual, but what happens next will depend on consumer habits as we unlock.
Egg into the food service sector has understandably been in the doldrums, and as a result, the colony housed market has dropped to under 10 million. A drop in demand is not unusual in May, but the food sector will find itself without the colony capacity it had before lockdown. The housing data in the back of the Ranger shows how quickly the national colony flock has decreased, speeded up by lockdown. When we reopen, processors will be looking to fill this void with a continental colony egg. Ironically, egg is still flowing freely into the UK after Brexit, but egg leaving the country for the continent is facing significant delays – a one-way Brexit effect.
The short-term future for egg production as we head out of lockdown looks steady. Over the last month, we have seen some increases in prices from packers, and as the food sector begins to come out of lockdown, we should see a tightening in the market.
Brexit issues, which would have been more prominent in the news, have hit the seconds market. The EU’s requirement for farm seconds to be marked with Producer Establishment Number, Class B indicator, and ISO code ‘GB’ has effectively ended that market. There was no agreement on specific pathogen-free (SPF) requirements, meaning that the UK is now treated as a third country by the EU. Unless the EU reduces their SPF barriers, the market for seconds to the EU is no longer an option.