Essex egg producer Ian Chisholm has launched a new website, intended to galvanise producers into taking direct action against the major packers and supermarkets in a quest for better prices.

In a statement issued on Wednesday (13 July), Mr Chisholm said that, while supermarkets were charging more than £3 per dozen, egg producers were being paid just 75p to 90p per dozen.

“The prices egg farmers are paid show no resemblance to the price increases consumers are being asked to pay for the eggs on the supermarket shelves.

“Feed prices and production costs have increased, and farmers are being forced to operate at a huge loss, while the packers make huge profits. Unless we fight back, more and more egg farmers will be forced into bankruptcy.”

Mr Chisholm has called on egg producers to work together to fight “unfair terms and low prices”. “I have written an open letter to all producers to contact me to discuss direct action,” he said. “The industry will go the same way as the dairy industry if we do nothing now.”

He is also demanding the Competition Commission looks at the way the egg industry operates, with a view to instilling more competition.

“Our aim is to ensure that egg farmers must have a minimum price written into their contracts. A contract with no price has no value at the bank.”

Mr Chisholm, who is best known for his 2009 fight with Tesco over the use of his face on their egg boxes when he had ceased to be a supplier, can be contacted on 01277 362414. His website is www.eggproducerstogether.co.uk

* What do you think of the call for direct action? Have your say on our Poultry Platform forum debate