PHOTO CALL: 11.30am, Poultry Forum Theatre, Pig & Poultry Fair, Stoneleigh Park, Tuesday 10 May
The UK’s largest food retailers have been invited to meet with egg farmers at an emergency summit tomorrow (Tuesday 10 May) in a bid to find ways to resolve the sector’s cost of production crisis.
Scores of free range and organic producers will attend the summit, which will take place at the Pig & Poultry Fair at Stoneleigh Park, and the senior egg buyers from all the major supermarkets have been asked to attend.
BFREPA will ask the retailers to outline what actions they are taking to support egg farmers, as market conditions threaten to stop production temporarily or put producers out of business entirely.
BFREPA CEO Robert Gooch will lead the emergency meeting at 11.30am and will outline how desperate the situation has become.
Egg producers have been hit with huge hikes in production costs in recent months. Feeding hens is now 50% more expensive, while energy prices have risen 40%. Spending on fuel has rocketed by 30%, while labour and packaging costs have also increased.
A recent BFREPA survey revealed that more than half of egg producers are seriously considering stopping production until the price they are paid improves. More than 70% said they will leave egg production within a year if a price rise isn’t forthcoming.
“The current situation is ruinous,” says Mr Gooch. “We have written to all the major retailers asking for their help but to date we have been largely ignored.
“We are not crying wolf – this isn’t something retailers can ignore in the hope it will go away. If the UK’s biggest supermarkets don’t increase the price of free range and organic eggs to a level where farms can at least break even, there will be egg shortages by the end of this year.
“Farmers cannot continue to produce eggs for nothing – the situation is so dire that scores of farms are considering stopping production at the end of their current flock.
“Only the retailers have the power to prevent a mass exodus and keep British free range eggs stocked on supermarket shelves for their customers.”
The Breaking Point Summit will take place at 11.30am in the Poultry Forum Theatre at the Pig and Poultry Fair, taking place at Stoneleigh Park in Warwickshire. Representatives from Tesco, Asda, Morrisons, Sainsbury’s, Asda, Tesco, Aldi, Lidl, Marks and Spencer, and Waitrose have been invited to the summit.
Notes to editors
To arrange interviews in advance or on the day, please contact Ben Pike on 07832168560 or email@example.com.
You can also meet members of BFREPA and its leadership team at Stand 238 in the Hall 3.