It is a long way to go to bring an egg to the market

It might take around eight or nine months to get an egg to the consumer’s table, something that the general public does not know.

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With food prices going up due to the high raw materials prices worldwide, many people have felt the money in their pockets is not enough. This can be particularly true in middle-income and low-income countries in Latin America.

When food prices went up, everybody complained here in Mexico predominantly about eggs. Maybe because we are the largest per capita egg consumers in the world – we all have eggs for breakfast.

On the same token, I heard the other day a radio interview with Javier Prida, president of Capia, the Argentinian Egg Producers Association, which really made me think. Prida, among other things, talked about how long it takes to get an egg to the consumer’s table.

Producing an egg implies a long biological process, all the way from producing breeders, laying hatching eggs, sending them to the hatchery, and hatching and raising pullets for 18 to 20 weeks, when they start laying table eggs. “Take a look at this – it might take eight to nine months before we put an egg on the consumer’s table,” he said. “The general public does not appreciate everything we do. What else can we do?”

It is true. The process is longer than, say, chicken meat. Plus, egg producers produce the cheapest and the best animal protein in the world. And now, talking about this, even with higher prices for eggs, consumers get a much higher value.

I like going out of home or office every day to get an espresso coffee after lunch. I do it to get some fresh air and clear my mind. But I was wondering how many extra eggs I could buy for the price of that daily coffee – at least a dozen or more. And that is exactly what Prida was also saying. People in Argentina complain about the price of eggs, but many still go for a coffee and an alfajor (a classical Argentinian dessert); and pay way much more than eggs for the whole family. And no complaints are given about that.

So, voilà la!, here you go. We have something else we need to work on in marketing poultry products – particularly eggs – because the general public needs to understand that eggs do not just show up on the supermarket shelves. They certainly travel a long way to get there.

What do you think?

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