Breaking Point:
The Rising Costs to Egg Producers

Could eggs soon be off the menu? Once a staple of breakfast and dinner tables around the country, today’s consumers and egg producers are facing unprecedented price pressures. 

In this special report we’re asking why prices are rising so quickly, what’s behind the challenges egg producers are being presented with and the solutions that may help farmers navigate this period of uncertainty. 

 

The Rising Costs To Egg Producers

The Humble Egg - A Staple of the British Diet

The cost of egg production has increased by more than a third, leaving Britain’s farmers facing an unimaginable scenario: stop producing eggs or lose money on every egg that leaves the farm. It’s an unsustainable situation which is crippling farmers and leaving many on the brink of bankruptcy. But, why now? Why have costs spiralled so sharply and left many farmers on the verge of going out of business? 

While changes to feed costs and workforce issues are nothing new, British agriculture is today facing a perfect storm caused by a maelstrom of multiple once-in-a-generation events all happening at the same time.

In our Breaking Point: The Rising Costs to Egg Producers report, we have thoroughly explored some of the most pressing issues facing farmers today:

Avian Influenza: The 2021-22 AI season will go down in history as the scene of the worst disease outbreak on record, with a loss of more than 500,000 birds and outbreaks occurring much later in the year than is the norm.

Free Range Egg Producer Recording Lay Quantities

Young Farm Worker Out In Free Range Layer Hen Paddock

War in Europe: Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 triggered a raft of consequences which have rippled across the globe, including rising energy prices, record breaking petrol costs and a huge leap in the price of animal feed. It’s estimated that the cost of chicken food has doubled since the start of the war, leaving farmers facing an uphill battle to break even.

Cost volatility: In addition to the prices of essentials such as food, fuel and fertiliser rising, they’re also weathering a period of prolonged volatility. Severe fluctuations in prices are now commonplace across almost every component needed for egg production, posing a greater financial risk to farmers.

egg prices are rising in the UK

Farmer Surveying His Free Range Layer Flock

Labour shortages: An estimated 1.3 million agricultural workers left the UK after Brexit and now, seasonal labour from Russia and Ukraine is also largely unavailable, further pushing up the cost of production.

Understanding the scale of the problem

The harsh reality for many farmers is that without rapid change right now, rising production costs may put them out of business, permanently. This creates the potential for an even greater crisis: 

  • The UK flock has dropped by more than 4 million birds in the last 12 months
  • Further loss could severely impact the nation’s ability to produce food
  • With businesses forced to close, the UK will be more reliant on overseas imports
  • Reliance on overseas imports will further push up the cost of food and exacerbate the cost-of-living crisis. 

So, what can be done to avoid this worst-case scenario?

 

Egg Producer With Supplier Reviewing Laying Data

egg producers are being impacted by rising production costs

 

While there are some things that are out of the agricultural industry’s hands, there are still measures that can be taken to fight back against rising production costs. In our report we look at useful measures which can make a difference right now, including:

  • Reducing disease risk and impact
  • Improved legislation guidance and
  • Government collaboration 

To find out how egg producers are being impacted by rising production costs, what’s driving those costs and what can be done to mitigate against the crisis, download the Livetec Breaking Point: The Rising Cost to Egg Producers report now.