New egg packers heat up free-range competition

Competition in the egg market brought about by a number of smaller, more regional packers emerging has the potential to hit farmgate margins, producers at a recent Severn Valley Poultry Discussion Group heard.

Elwyn Griffiths, of Oaklands Farm Eggs, warned that the rise of the mid-sized, regional packers could cause infighting within the free-range egg market, and put pressure on prices.

Within the past few years a number of smaller packers have emerged, and supermarkets have taken up more regional listings of free range on the back of a trend for more locally-sourced food.

“No one will trust one another. Everybody will say one thing and do another.”
Elwyn Griffiths, Oaklands Farm Eggs

As a result, retailers now had a wider range of suppliers to choose from, Mr Griffiths said. “Every buyer now will have four, five or six suppliers, and once you get that situation, there’s only one way: every supplier will drop their price to keep their business.”

He felt this could lead to discord across the supply chain: “No one will trust one another. Everybody will say one thing and do another.

“The only people that will lose out is farmers, as there’s no money at the top level to carry all the marketing,” Mr Griffiths added.

See also: A full report on the latest movements in the egg industry – and more from Elwyn Griffiths – will be available in February’s Poultry World. Subscribe to secure your issue.

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