Egg shortage reaches boiling point in New Zealand


But the problem seems to have hit other countries too

 

New Zealand Egg industry snapshot (Infographics for Indian Newslink by Yugendran Vasudevan)

Dr Malini Yugendran
16 January 2023

BBC News, The Guardian, the New York Times (Australia Newsletter) and many other media outlets have reported on the egg shortage currently boiling in the minds of New Zealanders.

These reports said that New Zealand ushered in the News Year with almost no Pav (Pavlova), with one of them advising, ‘Please don’t get a chicken.’

However, New Zealand is not alone in this problem. The shortage has egged the United States of America, the United Kingdom and even Australia and the reasons vary. Bird Flu (USA and UK), The Ukraine War (UK) and Supply Chain woes (Australia).

The issue has been compounded in New Zealand.

 

Egg trays at Countdown stores vanish fast (Indian Newslink Photo)

The Egg hunt

This reporter went on an egg hunt today, taking her to three major supermarket brands – Countdown in the Auckland CBD, Henderson and New Lynn; New World in New Lynn and Costco in Henderson; and finally, Arjun Supermarket, dealing with a wide range of Indian groceries and other items.

In Countdown, almost every shelf was empty. New World had very few egg trays.

Both supermarkets had limits per customer- Countdown one tray and New World two trays.

New World New Lynn Manager said that this has been the case for some weeks and that some customers circumvented the rule by returning to buy two more trays.

Arjun Supermarket on the other hand had about 20 trays of twenty eggs each.

Manager Sumeet said that his supplier had warned that the shortage is likely to remain until March.

Our attempt to buy online revealed some interesting information.

Limitation of egg purchase (Photo: Indian Newslink)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Countdown online store features a banner: “Our egg stocks are currently a little low. Apologies if your usual choice is not available. Thank you for your understanding as we work with our farmers to get more back on our shelves soon.”

Pak N Save, a Cooperative enterprise owned by Food Stuffs, appears to have removed its erstwhile non-availability. Its online shopping facility, available for each store, mentions the cost of Free Range of Eggs (a tray of 12 eggs) as $9.51.

Why this scramble?

In 2012, the government gave egg farmers a 10-year window to switch from a battery-cage system to a colony, free-range, or barn-raised system.

Battery-caged chickens were producing nearly 80% of all eggs. With the announcement to convert, a third of the farmers switched from battery-caged to colony farming.

The term ‘colony’ often refers to bigger cages.

Shortage has affected the ‘eggonomics’ in New Zealand (Unsplash and iStock Photo)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

However, New Zealand’s two grocery giants, Woolworths (or Progressive Enterprises) and Foodstuff, announced in 2017 that they will stop accepting colony-farmed eggs as of 2025 and 2027, respectively, citing concerns over animal welfare. This caused challenges to egg farmers who now not only need more funds but also space for the chickens.

This has caused many to leave farming which in turn caused a 10% decline in egg production and a 16% increase in price.

Spiralling costs

According to Arjun Supermarket Manager, the cost of a tray of eggs has jumped from $9 to $14.

New Zealand’s egg industry is worth more than $286 million with more than one billion eggs produced each year. Up to 85% of eggs produced by industrial farming are sold as ‘table eggs,’ with the remaining portion going for baking, catering and export. New Zealand exports eggs to the Pacific Islands and Oceania region, Hong Kong and Singapore.

According to the New Zealand Heart Foundation, an average New Zealander consumes about 237 eggs a year. The lack of eggs has caused egg lovers to go on a hunt for them across Auckland. Some are desperate and are beginning to look for alternative options.

According to the Guardian, there has been a 75% spike in the number of searches for chicken and chicken-related items on Aotearoa’s classifieds. Officials from the SPCA advise people against rushing into backyard farming. As chickens only produce eggs for two to three years but can live for more than a decade.

Types of Poultry Farming
(Infographics by Yugendran Vasudevan)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Nutritional Value

Eggs are highly nutritious food and a good source of protein, healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals. One large egg contains about six grams of protein, which is about 12% of the recommended daily intake for an adult. Eggs also contain healthy fats, such as omega-3 fatty acids, which are beneficial for heart health. In terms of vitamins and minerals, eggs are a good source of vitamin D, vitamin B12, and choline. They also contain small amounts of other vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin A, vitamin E, and selenium. Eggs are easy to cook and there is a variety that can be made:

Scrambled Eggs: Eggs are beaten and cooked in butter or oil until they form soft curds.

Fried Eggs: Eggs are fried in butter or oil, with the whites cooked and the yolks remaining liquid. They can be served sunny side up, over-easy, over-medium, or over-hard.

Omelettes: Eggs are beaten and cooked with added ingredients such as cheese, herbs, and vegetables.

Poached Eggs: Eggs are gently cooked in simmering water, with the whites cooked and the yolks remaining liquid.

Boiled Eggs: Eggs are cooked in boiling water, with the whites and yolks solidified. They can be served as a whole, hard-boiled egg, or sliced as deviled eggs.

Baked Eggs: Eggs are baked in the oven with added ingredients, such as cheese, vegetables and meat.

Frittata: An Italian-style omelette with eggs cooked with vegetables, meat, cheese and sometimes pasta.

Quiche: A savoury custard pie made with eggs and cream, and various vegetables, meats, and cheese.

These are just a few examples of the many different types of egg dishes that exist. The possibilities are endless, and the combinations of ingredients and cooking methods are numerous. The best part is that one need not be an expert to cook eggs.

Dr Malini Yugendran is an Indian Newslink Reporter based in Auckland.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Share this story

Related Stories

Indian Newslink

Previous slide
Next slide

Advertisement

Previous slide
Next slide

Advertisement

Previous slide
Next slide

Advertisement

Previous slide
Next slide

Advertisement

Previous slide
Next slide

Advertisement

Previous slide
Next slide

Advertisement

Previous slide
Next slide

Advertisement

Previous slide
Next slide

Advertisement

Previous slide
Next slide

Advertisement

Previous slide
Next slide

Advertisement