Retail pressure causes 'eggs-tinction' concerns

Retail pressure causes 'eggs-tinction' concerns

Agribusiness
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Lower North egg producers Stephen and Trish Simpson do not supply to supermarkets, but say the cheap prices offered still affect their business.

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BOILING POINT: Murphy's Crossing owner Stephen Simpson, Wasleys, is concerned egg producers will be discounted out of the market by supermarkets.

BOILING POINT: Murphy's Crossing owner Stephen Simpson, Wasleys, is concerned egg producers will be discounted out of the market by supermarkets.

LOWER North egg producers Stephen and Trish Simpson do not supply to supermarkets, but say the cheap prices offered still affect their business.

The comments follow a push by national representative body Egg Farmers of Australia for supermarkets to stop discounting eggs to unsustainable levels and provide a fair price back to producers, including a farmgate price increase of 30 cents a dozen.

"We normally produce most of our own feed and sell some for cash flow," Mr Simpson said.

"But because of the season, we have had to keep it all and buy in some, which was costly.

"The problem is we can't just pass the cost on to consumers - they can't afford it and people expect the low prices offered by the supermarkets.

"The egg industry is no different to the dairy industry, the supermarkets will discount us into extinction.

"Then consumers will have no choice in what eggs they can buy."

RELATED READING:Dairy numbers drop across SA

The couple run Murphy's Crossing - a free-range egg business that has been operated by the Simpson family at Wasleys for the past 60 years.

They operate at 1500 birds per hectare, producing about 700 dozen a day, which are sold at markets, cafes, shops, restaurants and locations from Wasleys to Victor Harbor.

Mrs Simpson said it was also difficult to compete with 'roadside eggs', which were of concern as they didn't have to follow stringent production rules.

"We have to stamp our eggs, use all new boxes etc, which is undercutting and undermining our businesses - it's just getting harder and harder," she said.

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