A survey carried out by the National Farmers’ Union (NFU) has revealed that almost a quarter of British egg producers are unsure if they will still be producing poultry beyond November 2025.
According to the NFU, British egg producers face an “uncertain future” without greater Government support and supply chain reform. After assessing the impact of the past two years on poultry production and farmers’ intentions over the next two years, the NFU found that 24% of British egg producers were either unlikely or unsure if they would still be producing poultry after November 2025.
The Union found that the main reason cited for this was insufficient returns, which it said suggested businesses had “not been profitable”.
In addition to production uncertainty, the survey found that 90% of egg producers were concerned by the prospect of being undercut by imports, while another 90% expressed concerns over the lack of fairness in the supply chain. High energy prices were concerning to 92% of surveyed producers, and 94% were worried by the risk of avian influenza.
James Mottershead, NFU poultry board chair, said: “British eggs and poultry are staple parts of so many people’s diets, but the sector is under a huge amount of strain. Incredibly volatile production costs and the threat of avian influenza have put producers under extreme pressure.
“The sector urgently needs support, certainty and fairness applied across the supply chain if it is to remain strong in its production of quality, safe, nutritious and sustainably produced poultry meat and eggs which we know the vast majority of the British public rely on.
“That’s why the NFU is calling for change within poultry supply chains to ensure a fairer sharing of risk and reward, as outlined in our response to the Government’s recent review of the egg supply chain.”
This comes as Defra announced at the beginning of January its proposed changes to egg labelling legislation, which it said would “aim to cut unnecessary red tape and costs”.