New Zealand’s desire for ethical eggs continues to put pressure on barn and free-range egg suppliers. Continual demand has left store shelves depleted over the last few months, although supply is expected to resume normality, or at least improve, in the coming months. According to the Egg Producers Federation of New Zealand, Kiwis consume an average of 230 eggs per person, per year—around 100 million in total.
According to Michael Brooks, the executive director of the Poultry Industry Association of New Zealand, said that the supply issue was the result of barn and free-range hen numbers dropping from 4.2 million to 3.6 million over the past year. The drop in numbers can be attributed to the changes in rules surrounding caging hens and the delay in resource consents for replacement farm systems. On top of this, as supermarkets begin to look towards erasing colony eggs from supply entirely, there is pressure on farmers to get their chickens in a row before laws change again.