New cost of production figures have been produced by consultants ADAS, which are expected to become the new “industry standard” for free-range egg producers.

The figures, which are being calculated monthly, take into account the cost of feed, pullets, labour and all other inputs, as well as a figure for depreciation and interest charges on buildings and equipment.

The first set of figures, which puts the full cost of production for May at over £28 a bird, has been agreed by both the NFU and the British Free Range Egg Producers Association (BFREPA). But as Poultry World went to press, it was still awaiting final ratification by the National Egg Marketing Association (NEMAL).

ADAS consultant John Newton, who collated the data, explained that the figures had been drawn from over 50 individual free-range producers, ranging in size from 3,000 to 36,000 birds. “I think we have been able to arrive at a good average.”

BFREPA policy director Robert Gooch said the new figures would act as a benchmark. “Members will be able to use the figures to analyse their own management performance and see where their strengths and weaknesses are,” he said.

“Also, when they are negotiating individually with their packer, retailer or whoever their customer might be, they can use those figures as agreed and can start talking about margins, rather than getting bogged down in disputes about costs.”

More on this topic

Focus on free-range chicken production