The British Free Range Egg Producers Association (BFREPA) has said that recent price increases for eggs in supermarkets are “too little, too late” and are the reason shortages are ongoing.

The association said today (Tuesday, March 21) that it welcomed the decision of some major retailers to increase their egg prices over the last month, particularly on large free-range eggs.

Asda raised the cost of 12 large free-range eggs by 33p last month to £2.80, whilst Lidl and Morrisons also increased the price of the same eggs by 10p and 24p respectively.

The cost of a dozen large free-range eggs in both Sainsbury’s and Aldi has risen by 50p in the last year, whilst Tesco has raised the cost of six large free-range eggs by 35p in the last year.

However, BFREPA chief executive Robert Gooch said these price rises may have come too late, as the association originally called for action at the Pig and Poultry Show last spring.

“Egg prices have been one of the biggest risers on retail shelves and this has started feeding down through to producer prices,” he said.

“Producer prices are now 40p/dozen higher than a year ago (April 2022 vs. March 2023), which is the price rise that BFREPA asked retailers for during its ‘Breaking Point campaign’ last April.

“Calls for price rises during the campaign were ignored by retailers at the time, but producer prices did start creeping upwards in the autumn, with larger rises feeding through during the first few months of this year.”

Gooch said retailer’s shelves are still experiencing egg supply shortages because they ignored BFREPA’s advice last year.

“There have been shortages on retail shelves since November which could have been avoided if retailers had heeded our warnings at the ‘Breaking Point Summit’ at the Pig and Poultry Show last May,” he said.

“We warned that there would be shortages in the run up to Christmas due to producers not restocking or giving up production due to poor prices, but retailers ignored our cautions.

“Industry data showed that the number of free range hens housed dropped every month from July to the end of the year, but it now looks as if the decline has bottomed out and hen numbers are starting to increase again.”