Now Tesco RATIONS eggs: Supermarket limits shoppers to just three boxes due to supply issues after Asda and Lidl brought in similar restrictions
- Tesco has become the latest major supermarket to impose rationing of eggs
- Customers are restricted to three boxes as bird flu disrupts major supply chains
- Last week, it was reported Asda and Lidl had also set limits on eggs for shoppers
- The UK is facing its largest ever bout of bird flu, with a highly pathogenic variant
Tesco has now joined the spate of supermarkets rationing eggs to customers as an outbreak of bird flu continues to disrupt supply chains.
Farmers are paying higher prices for bird feed and energy, at the same time as the flu virus has forced a cull of thousands of birds, the BBC reports.
Tesco previously told media last week that it had good availability of stock but was working with farmers to ensure supplies stayed strong.
Asda has started limiting customers to two boxes while Lidl has imposed a three-box rule in some stores.
Wetherspoon has even removed eggs from fry-ups in a number of its pubs.
Tesco has now joined the spate of supermarkets rationing eggs to customers as an outbreak of bird flu continues to disrupt supply chains
Shoppers at Tesco will now be restricted to purchasing three boxes of eggs at any one time, while rivals Asda and Lidl imposed limits last week
Poultry farmers are facing their largest-ever outbreak of bird flu with cases escalating rapidly. At the same time some producers have given up, complaining that supermarket prices do not reflect the soaring costs of feed and energy.
An Asda spokesman said: ‘We are working hard with our suppliers to resolve the industry challenges which are currently affecting all supermarkets and to make sure as many customers as possible can buy eggs, we have introduced a temporary limit of two boxes per customer.’
Sainsbury’s has taken the unusual step of importing barn eggs from Italy to make up for what it describes as ‘some supply challenges’. The chain has prided itself on using only free-range hens.
A Wetherspoon spokesman said: ‘We can confirm that there are temporary issues with egg supplies at some Wetherspoon pubs due to the current impact of Avian flu on egg production.
‘We are experiencing issues in receiving all the supplies we require to satisfy demand in every pub.’
Asda is limiting customers to two boxes of eggs each and Lidl is restricting customers in some stores to three boxes
Lidl is restricting customers to three boxes of eggs, a rule which has now also been taken up by Tesco
Waitrose said it had not introduced any limits but was ‘continuing to monitor customer demand’.
Figures published by the Office for National Statistics last week showed annual food inflation hit 16.2 per cent in October, the highest level since 1977. The figure for a dozen eggs was up 35.3 per cent to £2.91.
The British Free Range Egg Producers Association said higher costs and grain supply issues since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine were hurting the industry.
It added: ‘Farmers are basically losing money because the price that’s being paid in the supermarket isn’t being passed back down the supply chain to farmers.
‘So a huge number of them are losing a significant amount of money and can’t afford to produce eggs anymore.’
Since November 7 all poultry owners in England have been required to bring their flocks inside to limit contact with wild birds carrying the disease. More than 5.5million farmed turkeys, geese and ducks have now died or been culled in a year.
It is estimated that the UK egg-laying flock had been reduced by 750,000.
Robert Gooch, the egg association’s chief executive, told The Grocer: ‘We have been warning for months that failing to pay farmers a price which allows them to make a profit would result in mass destocking or, worse still, an exodus from the industry.
‘Seeing Italian eggs on the shelves is a wake-up call to all retailers that they can’t expect farmers to work for nothing.’
A spokesman for Happy Egg owner Noble Foods – the UK’s largest supplier – said: ‘Egg producers and packers are losing money due to the unprecedented level of inflation in the sector, driven by global events. Additionally, the sector is experiencing a record number of avian flu cases, which have made producers extremely nervous about restocking their flocks.’