Northern Ireland poultry producers ‘on edge’ with production costs through the roof

Northern Ireland’s poultry producers are ‘on edge’ due to soaring energy and feed prices that are sending the cost of production through the roof.
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The Ulster Farmers’ Union poultry committee met recently and said its producers are becoming “increasingly concerned” in relation to the financial pressures the industry is being subjected to.

Last week, the British Egg Industry Council confirmed it had written to the CEOs of the major UK retailers to communicate that, unless urgent action is taken, the normal supply of British eggs to meet consumer demand is under severe threat.

Read: Egg industry in crisis - UK retailers must take urgent action in next two weeksThey said many British egg farmers are on the brink of bankruptcy, with hundreds of farms in danger of going out of business.

Tyrone countryside. Picture: Cliff DonaldsonTyrone countryside. Picture: Cliff Donaldson
Tyrone countryside. Picture: Cliff Donaldson

The cost of pullets has risen by five per cent over the past month, and more than 15 per cent in the past two years.

Meanwhile, the cost of feed for egg laying birds is now £400 per tonne, up around 50 per cent over the past two years.

UFU president, Victor Chestnutt, commented: “We understand that processors have been engaging with retailers to ensure that these costs are passed up the supply chain and we’re fully supportive of these discussions.

“Poultry producers should not have to bear the brunt of skyrocketing increases alone when working to produce high-quality produce for consumers.

“We encourage all retailers and consumers to be mindful of the skyrocketing production costs that are being forced upon our members.

“They take pride in producing food to world-leading standards for the public to enjoy but during this extremely difficult period they need to be supported to ensure they can continue feeding the nation.

“The stark reality is, to ensure a continued supply of food in our shops a fair margin must be attainable for farmers, but at this stage, that is not the case for all of our members,” Mr Chestnutt ended.