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Australian supermarkets are rationing egg sales because of a nationwide shortage

Velentina Boulter

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| Last updated 

Australian supermarkets are rationing egg sales because of a nationwide shortage

Featured Image Credit: Piotr Adamowicz / Alamy Stock Photo

Eggs have become the latest items to be affected by supply-chain shortages, with major supermarkets warning of a nationwide shortage. 

Throughout the earlier stages of the pandemic, it was not unusual for supermarkets to bring in item restrictions to combat panic buying and limits to supply chain. 

But it seems rationing isn’t going anywhere, with new restrictions to be set in place to help combat the egg shortage. 

While both major supermarkets, Coles and Woolworths, have notified and cautioned customers of a reduced delivery of eggs, Coles has also gone one step further and introduced a ‘two-carton per person' limit on egg purchases. 

What is causing the egg shortage?

Part of the shortage can be attributed to the phasing out of caged eggs across Australian farms as they are replaced with free range farms. 

According to Australian Eggs, Australian farmers produce 16.9 millions eggs everyday, with free range egg farming now responsible for 47 per cent of all eggs purchased. 

Throughout winter, there is often a slight decrease in the amount of eggs produced on free range farms.

This is due the fact the chickens are exposed to less sunlight hours and more extreme weather like rain and cooler climates. 

However, farmers are usually able to keep up with the supply for eggs during most winters, but due to the Covid-19 pandemic, many farmers were unable to effectively predict the demand for eggs, thus contributing to the shortage. 

The shortage comes as the cost of living and inflation continues to rise across Australia. 

With increasing costs for grain, labour, and, not to mention fuel and transport, the overall production costs for eggs increased as well. Hence, the situation is worsened by increased production costs.

This has left many restaurant and cafe owners with no choice but to either increase prices or alter their menus to combat the egg shortage.

While egg farmers assure that there are enough eggs produced in Australia to cater for everyone’s needs, limits and rations remain in place for the time being. 

Topics: Australia

Velentina Boulter
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