What a toxic compound does to the poultry industry

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Months pass and the expansive wave from the case of fipronil in eggs in Europe continues, not in the pollution level per se, but rather concerning the impact on the market.

Fipronil showed up on egg layer farms in Belgium and the Netherlands in July and then in “batches of eggs produced in up to a total of 40 countries, of which 24 belong to the European Union,” as the Spanish newspaper El País reported last October. After that, the reduction of the supply in the EU “has meant the increase of the prices in the international wholesale markets by 64 percent in relation to the same period of the previous year, with quotations that have risen to 160 euros for 100 kilos.” It should be noted that there are other factors particular to the Spanish market, in addition to this.

According to data published in the aforementioned newspaper, the European Union produces 7.8 million metric tons of eggs, of which Spain contributes almost 11 percent -– 850,000 metric tons. That means that it is one of the main producers. There were no fipronil incidents in Spain at farms, but residues in other countries caused “the slaughter of millions of laying hens and the closure of contaminated farms.”

In this way, the supply in Europe has been reduced. The EU is a large exporter of eggs, but these volumes have been reduced. Spain, according to data from Inprovo published in El País, has 44 million laying hens in 1,200 farms, a production of 1,100 million dozens with a per capita consumption of 254 eggs. Spain exports between 15 percent and 20 percent of its production.

Perhaps this situation suits the Spanish producer, but not the consumer who begins to resent the rise in regular markets. Therefore, we have two scenarios: one is the great distrust that has spread among consumers because of the toxic compound and, two, higher prices. In the long run, it’s not good at all.

What do you think?

IPPE session on foreign material contamination

At the upcoming International Production & Processing Expo (IPPE) in Atlanta, on January 29 from 1 to 5 p. m. there will be an educational program entitled: Preventing and Responding to Foreign Material Contamination Incidents. It could be worth attending.

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