After supply problems, Asda and Lidl restrict egg sales

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After supply problems, Asda and Lidl restrict egg sales, Due to supply concerns, some stores, including Asda and Lidl, have begun to limit the number of boxes of eggs customers can purchase.

Until notice, Asda stated that consumers could only purchase two boxes of eggs, whereas Lidl only permits them to purchase three. An avian flu outbreak and soaring prices are threatening UK poultry farms.

It has begun to damage the egg supply, raising fears of a Christmas turkey shortage.

The British Retail Consortium (BRC), an industry group, claimed that some retailers had “temporarily limited” the number of boxes customers could purchase “to ensure availability for everyone,” but it did not name them.

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Sainsbury’s claimed that it has not restricted purchases but added that some stores might be low on certain products.

The supermarket also stated that it was “temporarily procuring” eggs from Italy in order to preserve supply despite its prior commitment to only purchasing eggs from British suppliers. They will be prominently labeled, it was added.

Tesco claimed that while there were no purchase restrictions and strong availability, it was working with producers to safeguard supplies. Morrisons said that there were no significant supply problems. Waitrose claimed to have a healthy supply and was keeping an eye on the issue.

Due to rising costs, some UK farmers are reducing or stopping their egg production this season. The invasion of Ukraine by Russia has increased farmers’ energy costs as well as the price of chicken feed, hens, and packaging.

Although only a small portion of the total, farmers are also having issues as a result of the avian flu outbreak, which has resulted in the culling of 740,000 laying hens. As more people bake at home during the colder months, there is an increase in demand for eggs.

According to the British Free Range Egg Producers Association, a “large number” of farms “are losing a significant amount of money and can’t afford to produce eggs any longer.”

The price supermarkets were paying for eggs, it was said, had not kept up with inflation. Only 5p of the approximately 45p per dozen increase in retail pricing since March, according to the report, has been passed on to growers.

“We have been warning for months that failing to pay farmers a price which allows them to make a profit will result in significant de-stocking or, worse, an exodus from the industry,” said chief executive Robert Gooch.

“A wake-up warning to all retailers that they can’t expect farmers to work for nothing,” he continued, referring to Sainsbury’s decision to offer Italian eggs.

The BRC claimed that despite the scarcity, supermarkets were making every effort to secure their supplies.

According to Andrew Opie, head of food and sustainability for the BRC, “although avian flu has impacted the supply of some egg ranges, retailers are specialists at managing supply chains and are working hard to minimize the impact on customers.”

During a time of high cost of living, he continued, retailers “know they need to pay a sustainable price to egg farmers but are bound by how much more costly they can pass on to customers.”

2.6 billion eggs were packed in the UK in the three months leading up to September, which is almost 10% less than during the same time the previous year.

Farmers received an average payment of 95.6p per dozen, a 7.7% rise over prices in 2021.

Some supply chains, according to Therese Coffey, Secretary of State for Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs get their eggs from specific farmers. “But across the country, we still have close to 40 million roosting hens,” she added. I don’t worry about the overall supply as a result.

“However, I recognize that some contracts and supply chains may be disrupted in the short term. I’m hoping it’s just a short-term problem “Added she.