18 August 2018 | Online since 2003

2 October 2012

Bill Broody - October 2012

The forums on the Ranger website are always an interesting read, dig deep past the occasional rants and raves and it is obvious that there are some very serious concerns being raised.

There is no doubt that the free range sector faces some serious issues at the moment. The questions of the share of retail prices raised by all sectors of farming and fresh food production leaves a lot of producers frustrated at their own returns when measured against the prices they see their product sold at on supermarket shelves. Inevitably the retail price of a dozen free rage eggs when measured against the prices paid back to producers leaves us questioning our packers and the route our eggs take to the market.

The subject is close to the heart of BFREPA and one that the Ranger will be investigating and broadcasting more about. Rightly so, we all acknowledge that the free range market is one that faces enormous pressure as the financial blight that has hit the Country continues to put pressure on Mrs Shoppers spending power. But sometimes this only adds to our frustration when we question some of the price tags put on eggs when we seem to swing from overpriced to underpriced without little compromise in the middle.

Representation for our sector is so important, it must be fair balanced accurate and credible, inevitably you can’t keep everyone happy all of the time but at the very least we should expect to be treated and paid fairly. Whilst we have the association representing our interest we also have BEIC Lion mark providing our quality standard and the badge for our product. Here to they have the responsibility of representing British egg producers. However there can be no doubt that they are tinged with controversy at the moment with many questions being asked of them.

Going back to the forums we can see that Mr Chisum is on the warpath again with another round of questions and allegations. Whether you agree with his stand or not his accusations and statements do attract attention. Perhaps that’s something that we should all be reminded of for extreme lines like his are reminiscant of some very nasty attitudes that if ignored fester and grow into something far more difficult to deal with later.

The problem is of course that if you simply ignore problems they rarely go away, the suspicions relating to huge quantities of egg imported earlier in the year should be addressesed by those with the market information. The volumes of imports during the Spring have left many egg men unable to balance the figures and as a consequence suspicions aroused. Therefore many have asked if anyone has been chastised under the lion scheme for handling continental egg and have any derogations been made under the scheme to packers this year? These questions could be easily answered and controversy and gossip stopped.

Since its creation in 1986 following the demise of the old eggs authority the BEIC has evolved to represent the vested interests of those in the club. The problem is of course that we all expect them to represent the interests of everyone who is part of the scheme including the producers who abide by the code. We follow that code on the understanding that our interests are being represented and those smaller packers who also use the Lion mark and pay their levy also expect and deserve a fair representation. After all they pay a great deal, whether they get value for money and a fair transparent treatment is a matter for debate, perhaps we should look to the forums because it seems its only there that questions get asked and sometimes even answered.