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Australian egg farmers hurt by supermarket price cuts

A leading supermarket chain in Australia is facing criticism following claims it is unfairly lowering prices and dictating customer choice, firstly with milk and now eggs.

The Australian Egg Industry Association says supermarket chain Coles' recent decision to slash prices is unsustainable and will hurt the local industry.

James Kellaway, the group's executive director, hopes industry and consumer pressure can persuade the chain to reverse the move. But he has stopped short of calling for a boycott.

"If Australian egg producers want their fresh eggs coming from Australia and not imported, then they should not support these kind of price pressures," he said.

"We need to be careful because as suppliers we need to comply with the Trade Practices Act and trade law. They have the market power. All we can do is try and educate them and try and work with Coles. But suffice to say, it is unsustainable at this point in time."

But as with the ongoing war over milk prices, Coles insists it is doing the right thing by customers and farmers and is fully absorbing the cost of the cuts.

Coles have paid most suppliers a cost increase for home-brand eggs and will continue to accept genuine cost increases, reads a statement released by the supermarket.

Editor WorldPoultry

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