The British Egg Industry Council (BEIC) said customers were likely to see shortages without urgent action. The council said that many of the farmers are on the verge of bankruptcy owing to the unprecedented rises in the cost of production, leading to almost 10 to 15 percent of them leaving the industry.
BEIC chairman Andrew Joret said: “The tidal wave of cost increases will see many family farms, some of which have been producing eggs for generations, going under in a matter of days, unless something is done quickly.”
According to the BEIC, the increase in uncontrollable input cost required to produce eggs, which is currently up by around 30 percent on farms, was showing no sign of slowing down.
It warned the availability of British eggs on supermarket shelves was “seriously under threat” if the costs were not passed on.
Mr Joret said: “The situation was unsustainable prior to the terrible war, but feed prices have accelerated dramatically in a way never before seen and farmers cannot absorb these costs and carry on with a viable business.
“Ten years ago, you might typically have paid £1.35 for six medium eggs, which today often cost less than £1 which is a third of the price of a barista coffee.
“Eggs are one of the most undervalued natural wholefoods; packed with protein, vitamins and minerals.
“They provide the whole family with nutritious meals at a fraction of the cost of some other proteins.”
He added: “It is our top priority to keep up the usual supply of British eggs, the majority of which are produced to the world-leading quality and welfare standards set by the Lion Code, which are enjoyed by so many people around the UK every day.
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“However, without rapid recognition of the seriousness of the situation, a significant number of producers won’t survive to continue to ensure that one of the nation’s favourite home-produced foods is readily available on the table.”
According to reports, farmers were losing money on every egg they produced due to feed cost increases, exacerbated by the war in Ukraine, which had added 25p to 30p per dozen.
This had come on the heels of “never-before-seen” increases across the supply chain, from pullets to energy, and labour shortages.
The BEIC said many farmers were choosing to stop producing rather than lose their farms, resulting in falling numbers of hens in the UK and increasing pressure on supply.
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The national flock had already declined by around 4 million in the past year.
The BEIC said it had written to the chief executives of the major UK retailers to communicate that unless urgent action was taken in the next two weeks, the normal supply of British eggs to meet consumer demand was under severe threat.
It comes as Keir Starmer stepped up his attack on the cost-of-living crisis today as he launched Labour’s election campaign warning that households face a £2,620 squeeze this year.
At an event in Bury alongside deputy Angela Rayner, Sir Keir highlighted the huge hit in the pipeline as he condemned the Government for failing to provide enough help.
The party’s figures show the average tax bill is set to rise £1,060 over the next 12 months, with the controversial national insurance rise taking effect in the coming days.