No need to ramp up egg production, says official

Some stores are limiting egg sales but the problem is panic buying, not a production shortage

Alberta egg farmers aren’t planning to ramp up production as the recent surge in egg sales is expected to be temporary.

“For us, the shortage this past week was from consumers overbuying,” Egg Farmers of Alberta spokesperson David Webb said March 25.

In order to thwart panic buying or hoarding, many grocery stores are limiting how many eggs consumers can buy. The situation is being monitored but there are no plans to increase production.

“We were pretty close to full capacity in terms of quota,” he added.

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If sales continue to increase in a sustained way, his organization would have discussions with government and others in the sector, Webb said.

“We are working closely with Alberta Agriculture and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada,” he said. “Everyone is trying to get a grasp of the situation across Canada and in each province.”

The industry is also pushing the government to declare the food supply chain as an essential service.

“I know we have the support here in Alberta from the provincial government,” said Webb.

There could be difficulties if some products are not allowed through borders, he said. For example, the egg industry uses vitamin packs for hens that come from outside Canada.

A shortage of protective masks for workers at laying operations could also be a problem, he said.

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Alexis Kienlen

Alexis Kienlen lives in Edmonton and has been writing for Alberta Farmer since 2008. Originally from Saskatoon, she has also published two collections of poetry and a biography about a Sikh civil rights activist. Her freelance work has appeared in numerous publications across Canada.

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