Egg smuggling, shortage of fruit and vegetables and high prices of dairy products
The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) field office in San Diego reported that egg seizures at the Mexico-U.S. border increased by almost 398% between 11 January 2022 and 31 January this year. An increase of more than 300% in smuggling was also reported by CBP field offices in Tucson and Laredo. The transport of eggs across the border into the US is illegal. It is being fuelled by an increase in the price of this food product caused by the avian flu epidemic, as increases in the price of feed, transportation and packaging. In December 2022, Americans were paying an average of a record $4.25 for a dozen large Class A eggs.
In the UK, the inflation rate In the UK, the inflation rate for milk, cheese and eggs reached 31% in the year to January this year – This is the fastest annual increase since comparable data collection began in 1989. At the same time, the wholesale milk price received by farmers reached its highest level ever since 1970 (51.5 pence per litre). Increases in feed, fuel and fertiliser prices are to blame for this. The situation was exacerbated by the drought in the summer of 2022 and a labour shortage.
UK supermarkets, including Tesco, ASDA, Aldi and Morrisons, have introduced limits on the sale of certain fruit and vegetables, such as tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, lettuces, broccoli and cauliflower. Food shortages are caused by bad weather in Europe and Africa and the high price of electricity needed for greenhouse cultivation in the Netherlands and the UK. According to some experts, Brexit is not helping either – businesses in continental Europe are closer to fruit and vegetable crops, and supply chains are simpler and better coordinated there.