Eggs to be RATIONED across UK until spring 2023 - Supermarkets including Tesco, Asda and Lidl taking URGENT action

Asda is limiting customers to two boxes of eggs each and Lidl is restricting customers in some stores to three boxes
Asda is limiting customers to two boxes of eggs each and Lidl is restricting customers in some stores to three boxes

Several supermarkets are already restricting customers amid a shortage of eggs

Published

Eggs are set to be rationed across the UK until Spring 2023 as supermarkets up and down the country rush to take urgent action.

Asda is limiting customers to two boxes of eggs each and Lidl is restricting customers in some stores to three boxes, while Waitrose said it had not introduced any limits but was “continuing to monitor customer demand”.

While Tesco is also reportedly considering taking action, according to the Guardian.

Other major retailers including Morrisons, Marks & Spencer and Co-op reassured customers that they continued to receive good supplies and were not limiting sales.

Eggs are to be rationed across the UK until Spring 2023
Eggs are to be rationed across the UK until Spring 2023

The British Free Range Egg Producers Association have warned that it's likely the shortage will last until Christmas.

A BFREPA spokesperson said: “It’s very hard to predict but we can certainly see (shortages) lasting until after Christmas.”

While Andrew Opie, director of food and sustainability at the British Retail Consortium added: “Supermarkets source the vast majority of their food from the UK and know they need to pay a sustainable price to egg farmers but are constrained by how much additional cost they can pass on to consumers during a cost-of-living crisis.”

The UK is facing its largest ever bout of bird flu, with a highly pathogenic variant circulating.

Since early November, birdkeepers have had to keep their animals housed and away from wildlife to reduce the spread. When there is a confirmed outbreak on a poultry or egg farm, all the birds in the affected area are destroyed, meaning fewer eggs in the supply chain.

The outbreak is compounding existing shortages caused by producers cutting back on output or leaving the industry due to increased costs, with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine driving up farmers’ energy bills along with the cost of chicken feed, hens and packaging.

Demand for eggs is also up as consumers seek out cheaper sources of protein to offset soaring food bills.

Therese Coffey has said she is confident “we can get through” the egg shortage gripping the UK as she noted “there are still nearly 14 million egg-laying hens” in the country.

The Environment Secretary said she was aware of “what is happening in individual shelves” but claimed retailers have not yet “directly” contacted her department to indicate supply chains problems.

Therese Coffey
Therese Coffey

During Defra questions, Labour MP Dan Jarvis (Barnsley Central) asked Ms Coffey in the Commons: “Some supermarkets are now rationing eggs and ahead of Christmas, there’s real concern about the supply of turkeys.

“Avian influenza has meant that the British Free Range (Egg) Producers Association have said that a third of members have cut back on production, so, can the Secretary of State say what the Government is doing to help poultry farmers through what is a very challenging time?”

Ms Coffey replied: “The minister for food, farming and fishing (Mark Spencer) is meeting the industry on a regular basis, a weekly basis is my understanding.

“I think it’s fair to say retailers have not directly contacted the department to indicate supply chains… although I am conscious of what is happening in individual shelves.

“But recognising there are still about nearly 14 million egg-laying hens available, I’m confident we can get through this supply difficulty in the short term.”