Egg producers providing food for Australian families are faced with increased costs across the supply chain including fuel, electricity, employment (labour costs), insurances, maintenance for upkeep of plant, packaging and to service debt on assets. These costs are on top of the biggest cost, grain. Grain to feed hens has more than doubled in the last 12 months according to CEO of Egg Farmers of Australia, Melinda Hashimoto.
Many producers find that grain makes up 65% of their total feed costs. Egg producers can no longer continue to produce eggs at a price to retailers that is less the cost of production.
Producers can no longer subsidise the costs of production for the benefit of retailers with an aim to make a greater profit through a low return to egg farmers. Egg Farmers of Australia therefore calls on retailers to increase the price returned to the producer by an additional 30 cents per carton.
Animal welfare, food safety and sustainability of the egg industry are important to both producers and consumers that should be a consideration and front of mind for retailers.
Without an increase in return to the farmer, egg shortages will occur, and jobs will be lost. Australian primary production needs to be supported by retailers and consumers.