Tesco follows Asda and Lidl in rationing eggs in the UK
As a result of supply issues, Tesco has become the latest supermarket to ration the number of eggs customers can buy
24 November 2022
In a new temporary measure, Tesco customers in the UK can now buy only three boxes of eggs each, following similar limits being set out by Asda and Lidl last week.
A squeeze on egg supply has been caused by UK poultry farmers incurring rising costs for chicken feed and energy, as well as being hit by an outbreak of bird flu.
Lidl had also limited the number of egg boxes to three per customer, while Asda has set a two-box limit per customer. Other supermarkets, including Sainsbury’s and Morrisons, are yet to make similar moves.
However, Sainsbury’s has conceded some stores may be running low on some lines and has sourced eggs from Italy, despite having previously committed to only buy eggs from British suppliers. Morrisons previously also said it was not facing major supply issues.
Wheat, a key ingredient in chicken feed, has spiked due to the war in Ukraine, with both Russia and Ukraine producing around 30% of the global supply.
Farmers have also been severely affected by the country’s largest ever avian influenza outbreak, which saw millions of birds killed or culled in the past 12 months.
Farmers have claimed that although the price of a dozen eggs rose by circa 45p in the supermarkets since March, they have only received between 5p to 10p of that increase and are not being paid a fair price.
The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) said it understood the difficulties farmers were facing, and that it was working with the industry to “monitor the market”.
“The UK’s food supply chain is resilient – there are 38 million laying hens across the country and we are not expecting any significant impact to the overall supply,” Defra said.