French Farmers Angered by Low Egg Prices

FRANCE - A group of French farmers broke over 100,000 eggs to protest against low egg prices. They have also pledged to continue breaking the same number every day for the remainder of the week, saying prices do not make up for rising costs or new investments required by EU law.
calendar icon 9 August 2013
clock icon 3 minute read

"More than 100,000 eggs were destroyed in the Cotes d'Armor (a department in the northwestern region of Brittany)," a spokesman for the unnamed collective of angry poultry farmers told AFP.

Citing AFP, France24 reports that poultry farmers in the country have been complaining for several months about low egg prices due to overproduction - a problem that also affects other countries in the EU.

The farmers claim that the current prices do not make up for a rise in production costs or investments they have had to make as part of an EU directive that came into force in January last year so as to protect the well-being of laying hens.

The anonymous spokesman said masked farmers had broken the 100,000 eggs overnight from Tuesday to Wednesday (6-7 August) near a Lidl supermarket and on a roundabout - an act that was also reported in local media.

"We will continue to destroy 100,000 eggs a day until Sunday," the spokesman said, after which he said the protest movement would become more radical "with inevitable collateral damage" if the group's demands are not met.

He said destroying 100,000 eggs a day equates to "five percent of the production" of poultry farmers involved in the collective.

The group called for France's entire egg production to be reduced by 5 percent to help raise prices, and asked the government to set up a specific area for eggs to be destroyed.

According to Yves-Marie Beaudet, head of the egg section of a union that represents poultry farmers in Brittany, producers currently get paid 75 cents ($1) for a kilogram of eggs - whereas the cost price is 95 cents.

The UGPVB union says the European Union has "15 to 20 million" excess laying hens out of a total of around 350 million.

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