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Sunday, January 29, 2023

Asda limits egg sales to two boxes a customer

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Some supermarkets including Asda have started to ration the number of boxes of eggs customers can buy due to supply issues.

Asda said customers would be limited to buying two boxes of any number of eggs until further notice.

UK poultry farmers are facing a record outbreak of avian flu, leading to millions of birds being culled.

It has started to affect the supply of eggs, and led to concerns of a shortage of Christmas turkeys.

Industry group the British Retail Consortium (BRC) said other retailers had introduced “temporary limits” on the number of boxes customers could buy “to ensure availability for everyone”, but it did not name them.

Sainsbury’s said it was “experiencing some supply challenges with eggs” but is not limiting how many boxes people can buy.

The grocer said it was having to source eggs from Italy due to the shortage.

Tesco said it had good availability with no buying limits, but was working with producers to ensure its supplies.

Cost pressures

Along with avian flu problems, some UK farmers are cutting back or halting egg production this year due to rising costs, Asda said.

This has come at time when people are doing more home baking in the colder weather and demand for eggs is rising.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has also driven up energy costs for farmers, the British Free Range Egg Producers Association said. It added that the price supermarkets are paying for eggs has not kept up with costs.

A “huge number” of farmers “are losing a significant amount of money and can’t afford to produce eggs any more,” a spokesperson said.

Despite the shortage, the BRC said supermarkets were doing all they could to get on top of the problem.

“While avian flu has disrupted the supply of some egg ranges, retailers are experts at managing supply chains and are working hard to minimise impact on customers,” said Andrew Opie, the BRC’s director of food and sustainability.

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