Egg shortage hitting Australia
Australian supermarkets are struggling to keep the shelves stocked with eggs following a bout of winter weather as well as increased demand for ‘free range’ eggs placing pressures on supply.
According to the Victorian Farmers Federation (VFF), it is normal for supplies in Victoria to drop every winter but it is now harder to keep up with demand as more shoppers want eggs from free range chickens, which are outside in the cold.
“It’s mainly affecting the free range sector because those hens are out in the cold, as opposed to cage or barn hens which are housed in temperature controlled sheds,” said VFF President, Brian Ahmed.
Mr Ahmed said whilst current shortages are seasonal, the growing demand for free range seemed likely to cause issues maintain egg supplies in the future.
“Victorians are used to consistent egg availability, and with more retailers promoting free range products it’s likely this seasonal shortage will continue in years to come. Farmers are doing everything they can to minimise the impact of this natural variation in production by taking care of their hens,” he said
Coles and Woolworths impacted, Aldi not
Coles and Woolworths are amongst the supermarkets most impacted whilst Aldi has confirmed it is not experiencing any supply issues.
“ALDI Australia can confirm we are not experiencing a shortage of eggs in our stores,” an Aldi spokesperson said.
A Coles spokesperson said it was working with its suppliers to help increase production of free range eggs.
“The retail and food service industry across Australia is experiencing a shortage of eggs because of a significant increase in consumption and seasonal conditions. We are working closely with our suppliers to increase production to ensure we have a full range of eggs available for customers as soon as possible,” the Coles spokesperson said.
A Woolworths spokesperson said,
“All major food retailers are experiencing an egg shortage, particularly in free range which is placing pressure on other egg ranges. This has been driven by recent changes regarding the definition of ‘free range’ and high demand during the long public holiday period at Easter.
We are working closely with our suppliers to ensure we meet demand as best as possible across our stores and we expect to return to normal supply soon.” The Woolworths spokesperson said.