Free-range egg producers can expect another price rise soon, Noble Foods promised last month.

Richard Kempsey, free-range and organic farms director, told members of the Midlands Free Range Discussion Group that they could expect a further price rise equivalent to what had already been implemented in October (about 5p on large, 2p on medium) and it would be “fairly quick” in coming as well.

“The wholesale market is going crazy, there is a shortage of eggs going into the retailers, and now we’ve got imports coming in,” said Mr Kempsey.

“There will be a further tightening of the market, and I believe that Noble Foods as a group would be in a strong enough position to capitalise on it and get some real returns back to producers again.

“My own belief is that we are about to see a good period of profitability, it’s moving in that direction,” he said.

But there was a real risk in the medium term that there were going to be some imports flying into the country: “So our protection is going to lie with the Lion marque, and with the quality of the job being done by UK producers.”

The Midlands Free Range Discussion Group welcomes new members. It meets four evenings a year at Tern Hill in Shropshire. Contact Stuart Hinchly (01270 500 300).