Squeeze hits peak egg body

Warwick Daily News - South West Queensland Rural Weekly - - Rural Photography - Peter Hunt [email protected]­ral­weekly.com

EGG farm­ers are bat­tling to keep their peak lobby group afloat as they lose money in the face of sky­rock­et­ing grain prices and su­per­mar­ket dis­count­ing.

Egg Farm­ers Aus­tralia has been forced to re­trench its two staff mem­bers and aban­don col­lect­ing levies from its farmer mem­bers in re­sponse to the crip­pling im­pact of the drought.

“In the past six months we’ve had a 30-40 per cent in­crease in over­all costs and su­per­mar­kets won’t in­crease prices,” EFA mem­ber and Vic­to­rian egg pro­ducer Brian Ahmed said.

“Su­per­mar­kets want to sell eggs cheaper.”

At the same time, Mr Ahmed said not only had the price of feed – wheat, sorghum, legumes and meat meal – “gone through the roof”, but all farm­ers faced higher trans­port costs on the back of a hike in diesel prices.

EFA chair Bede Burke said he did not want to col­lect levies from egg pro­duc­ers who had seen a 50 per cent hike in their feed costs while egg prices re­mained flat or were even be­ing dis­counted.

“While the im­pact of the drought has been build­ing for some time, the in­crease in in­put costs aris­ing from the fail­ure of the win­ter crop in the eastern states has had a dev­as­tat­ing im­pact na­tion­ally, plac­ing egg farm­ers un­der ex­treme fi­nan­cial pres­sure,” he said.

“This has had a di­rect im­pact on the abil­ity of farm­ers to vol­un­tar­ily con­trib­ute to EFA’s op­er­a­tions and sadly, EFA no longer has cer­tainty in re­la­tion to its fund­ing in the short to medium term.

“As a re­sult, EFA is un­able to main­tain ded­i­cated re­sources at this time and can­not con­tinue to sup­port the CEO role cur­rently held by John Dunn and the pol­icy ad­vice pro­vided by An­gela Grif­fin.”

PHOTO: BRENDA STRONG

START­ING TO CRACK: Egg farm­ers bat­tle to keep their peak lobby group afloat as they lose money due to sky­rock­et­ing feed prices and su­per­mar­ket dis­count­ing.

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