Egg shortage is likely to hit Australia in the next two months, with new free-range regulations imposed on producers as they struggle to meet the rising consumer demand. Sydney and Melbourne are the worst affected areas, where consumers are forced to shift to caged eggs for consumption.
The sudden shortage of eggs in barns has been pinned down on uncertainty of ‘free-range’ laws, which were introduced in March. Egg producers are compelled to comply with the intricacies of the law, which according to the federal government, limits producers to one chicken per square meter.
The rules are stringent as egg producers need to ensure they take care of chickens that are hatching eggs, as laid down in the rules. All chickens should have regular and meaningful access to the outdoors while they are in the barns.
It should be noted that there are specific sizes and designs of barns that should be maintained. If a farmer fails to meet the new requirements, he cannot build a new barn to house more hens to meet the rising demands, as reported by SMH.
The shortage is expected to last a couple of months, and according to spokesman for Egg Farmers Australia John Coward, the price of eggs is likely to surge due to increasing demand. Several cold stores were out of stock and notified customers by hanging an apology letter outside the store.
While large supermarket chains are struggling to meet consumer demand, smaller or independent grocers had no issues since they have a number of different suppliers. News.com.au relays Mr Cowards’s opinion about egg consumption by shoppers, which increased four percent in the past 12 months. “It’s all about protein price. People can pay $30 per kilo for beef or around $7 per kilo for eggs,” he said.
Despite the sudden decrease in egg supply, it is expected that the supply will return to normal by September. As of now, suppliers at supermarkets are working together to meet demands as much they can.
While Australia is gripped in shortage of egg supply, the masses are savoring every moment of the lip-smacking dishes presented on Masterchef Australia 2016. Read more here!