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The British Free Range Egg Producers Association has said that the only solution to the rising production costs is an increase in farm-gate prices

A typical free-range egg farm is on course to lose more than £300,000 per flock, due to soaring production costs, according to new data.

ADAS, the environmental consultancy, found that the cost of feed, electricity, labour and other inputs remained at record levels, causing farmers to lose nearly £10 per hen.

The British Free Range Egg Producers Association has said the only solution to the rising cost of production is an increase in farmgate prices.

“Farmers have seen small rises in the price they are paid for their eggs, but it’s nowhere near enough for their businesses to be sustainable,” said BFREPA CEO Robert Gooch.

ADAS calculated the total average cost of a flock of 32,000 hens at £1.24m, with average revenue from egg sales only bringing £921,000.

This shortfall has meant some producers have ceased production.

It comes despite rises in egg prices at retailers. The traditional big four supermarkets, Aldi, Lidl and Waitrose imposed 17 price hikes of more than 40p since the start of April, with 76 between 15p and 40p and 108 increases in total, according to analysis of Assosia data by The Grocer at the end of September.

In response to the crisis, BFREPA launched its Egg Pledge – a commitment to work towards a more sustainable future and stop businesses collapsing  at its annual conference in Birmingham in September.

Farming input costs jump nearly 35% in a year as inflation soars

The pledge already has 300 signatories and this month BFREPA will be approaching all egg packers and retailers to ask for support.

Everyone who signs the pledge will have their commitment documented on the Egg Pledge web page and will be kept updated on its progress.

“By signing the Egg Pledge, you are showing your support for British free-range egg producers and playing your part in ensuring that they have a sustainable future,” Gooch said.

“It is of the utmost importance that we do everything we can do bring about positive change in the industry, so that producers receive the support and success they need.”