Squeeze hits peak egg body
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.”
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.