UK poultry farmers are calling for supermarkets to raise the prices of eggs and poultry by as much as 20 percent, in order to offset the increase in chicken feed prices caused by the ongoing U.S. drought that has damaged corn and soybean crops, according to reports.
The cost of producing a chicken has grown by up to 25 percent since the beginning of 2012, said Peter Bradnock, chief executive of the British Poultry Council. "We need to pass the price increase on," he said. Feed makes up roughly 60 percent the cost of producing chicken. "There are more people [in the poultry industry] making losses than making profits at the moment," said Bradnock.
Feed increases are hurting farmers and making it difficult to profit, according to Duncan Priestner, chairman of the National Farmers' Union. “What the supermarkets are hoping is that the price of feed will come down again and that farmers will just have to grit their teeth and take this on the chin until prices come down,” said Priestner. “The problem is if these prices don’t come down then the supermarkets are going to have to react to that, otherwise farmers won’t be able to put the next stock of chickens in because they can’t afford it.”