The government has pledged to review supply chain fairness in the egg sector, with industry leaders welcoming the development.
A review will be undertaken into fairness in the egg supply chain, Defra confirmed today (16 May), in light of the impact of global challenges on this sector in particular.
It follows continuous industry campaigning for a fairer deal for free range egg farmers who have been hit by rocketing costs.
Many farms have seen energy bills increase by tens of thousands of pounds while feed costs have risen by 50% or more.
Transport, labour and the cost of pullets have all gone up too, leaving producers struggling to make a profit, or in the worst cases, ceasing production altogether.
Responding to the review, British Free Range Egg Producers Association (BFREPA) CEO Robert Gooch said it was a "welcome development".
He said consumers must be able to choose a high quality British product at a price which allowed farmers to have the confidence to continue producing eggs.
"It is a necessary step," Mr Gooch said, "Free range producers have been trapped in a boom-and-bust cycle for years, primarily caused by unfair contracts which leaves their businesses carrying a huge amount of risk."
Mr Gooch said the crisis seen in the egg sector had been ongoing over the past 12 months, as costs of production had rocketed but prices paid to farmers had stagnated.
He added: “BFREPA will be ready to play an active role in the review when it begins, and hopes that the outcome is a fairer, more sustainable supply chain."
Defra Secretary Thérèse Coffey said the reviews announced today aimed to boost "every element of the food supply chain, from farm to fork."
“I am delighted that today we have embarked on our next step to back British farmers and ensure a thriving food and drink sector," she said.
"I look forward to working together, right across the food supply chain, to boost growth, innovation and sustainability.”