Finance Consumer Eggs are about to cost more, with drought pushing up price of grain and production

Eggs are about to cost more, with drought pushing up price of grain and production

Egg prices are rising as the drought gets worse, resulting in higher grain costs for farmers. Jessica Hinchliffe
Twitter Facebook Reddit Pinterest Email

Major and smaller supermarkets are upping the price of eggs as chicken farmers become the latest casualties in the ongoing drought.

Egg producers are struggling to find affordable feed for their birds, as grain supplies dry up around the country.

Trish Simpson, whose family has run Murphy’s Crossing Free Range Eggs at Wasleys, north of Adelaide, for more than 60 years, said prices need to rise if her business is to survive.

“Have a look at what is happening to the poor dairy people, they have been screwed into the ground, and we are not far behind them,” Ms Simpson said.

“We’re questioning where we should be positioning ourselves just to survive and to actually get to the point where we might be able to retire.

The Simpsons avoid selling to large supermarket chains, but Ms Simpson said their business was still impacted by cheaper-priced alternatives.

“Why would customers who can buy eggs for $2.99 in the supermarket come to a specialty shop and pay $6.00 if they don’t have to?” she said.

“We are struggling to produce a really good Australian product for our customers.

Push for price rise

Ms Simpson’s comments come as pressure mounts on the supermarkets to pay farmers more for eggs.

Industry group Egg Farmers of Australia (EFA) called on supermarkets to stop discounting eggs, pay a fairer farm gate price, and develop more flexible contracts with farmers.

“The price of grain has increased by more than double for producers and most of them have contracts with the retailers for six to 12 month periods,” EFA’s CEO Melinda Hashimoto said.

Grain accounts for about 65 per cent of variable costs for egg farming businesses, and the EFA is concerned those prices could skyrocket if the drought drags on.

Aldi and Coles said they have recently started paying farmers more for their eggs to factor in the drought.

“We have accepted price increases from our egg suppliers and, in turn, have raised the price of our egg range sold at Aldi stores,” Aldi said in a statement.

Coles said it had also accepted higher prices from farmers but would not say if those costs had been passed on to shoppers.

A spokesperson for Woolworths said “due to drought and high input costs, we’re currently seeing an impact on egg prices across Australia”.

“We will continue to manage discussions with suppliers in line with our established processes on a case-by-case basis.”

“[Supermarkets] obviously like to get the most attractive offer they can for their own customers,” Peter Bell, Western Australia’s largest egg producer, said.

“But obviously as farmers we need to live as well.”

Consumers will accept cost: Grocer

One small Adelaide grocer said he was prepared to charge up to an extra 40 cents a dozen to help egg farmers, and believed consumers were prepared to pay more too.

“I have not done my numbers yet, but I daresay 30 to 40 cents [extra] should help that farmer quite substantially,” John Kapiris, director of St Bernards Fruit and Veg Market, said.

“I think 95 per cent of Australians at any retail outlet will be happy to pay that 30 cents [more] a dozen — guaranteed.

Mr Bell agreed customers could handle a price hike, pointing to the milk industry as an example of consumers rallying at the checkout to support struggling farmers.

“There was that argument about whether consumers would be upset paying 10 cents more for a litre of milk,” he said.

View Comments
Today's Stories
Eggs are about to cost more, with drought pushing up price of grain and production
Deaths, destruction and floods as earthquake shakes Greece and Turkey
Stranded and desperate Australians consider chartering a boat to sail home from Asia
Bushfire royal commission findings ‘useless’ without government action on climate change
Zoe Daniel: ‘Forgotten’ voters backed Trump, now they’re deciding if he heard them
Jeff Bezos’ pandemic windfall: Amazon posts record profits as online shopping boom continues
‘I could die tomorrow’: Meghan Markle’s dad makes desperate plea as baby rumours swirl
Dennis Atkins: As Queensland votes, Clive Palmer may have told one too many whoppers
Australia welcomes Qatar’s contrition for ‘violations and illegal actions’ against women
Sorry, Gladys: Top epidemiologist rates Victoria’s contact tracing as the ‘gold standard’
Why Asian-American voters are the wildcard that could swing the US Election
Unemployment will always exist. But our goal must be less than 4 per cent
The latest super rankings: Fine-tune your account to cash in on the coming recovery
Meet the giant bony-toothed bird that ruled Antarctica millions of years ago
‘Gift of a lifetime’: Kanye gives Kim birthday hologram of her late father Robert Kardashian
The Ferguson Report: Even Victorians should feel sorry for US voters
Coronavirus on lungs
The two groups of people most vulnerable to dying from COVID-19
Beaches shut as authorities search for shark that killed Nick Slater on Gold Coast
Australian Caleb Ewan pipped at finish line of Stage 10 of the Tour de France
Michael Pascoe: China’s leader takes a turn for the particularly stupid… and ours is no better
The ‘highly sophisticated’ religious movement trying to brainwash Australians
Garry Linnell: Empathy is dead and it’s time for us peasants to make way for profits
Half-baked case to downplay coronavirus built on one big misunderstanding
Airlines want us on planes so badly they’re willing to pay for our funerals
How do pandemics usually end? And how will this one finish?
Australian charities are under pressure.
Charities slammed by triple threat as coronavirus damage takes its toll
Portrait Of Young Woman Eating Leaf Vegetable
Vegans rising: Australia second in the world for veganism as Gen Z snubs lab-grown meat
Industry super funds to invest $33 billion in job creation
Victorian real estate agents push back against calls to block rent reductions
Lisa Cox
Call for diversity as Aussie model with disability prepares for catwalk at New York Fashion Week
Calls to boycott Disney’s live-action Mulan over hat tip in credits to Xinjiang authorities
Evening : Watch The News in 90 Seconds


Get The New Daily free every morning and evening.

There was an error submitting the form. Please try again.