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Largest Egg Producer Makes Record Profits From Skyrocketing Prices, Farmer Advocacy Group Calls For Investigation


American grocery customers are trying to figure out when ‘egg-xactly’ prices will return to normal for what is a grocery staple in many households.

The price of eggs ranged between $12.99 and $17.99 per dozen in one Manhattan neighborhood, prompting one customer to exclaim, “Really?! … That’s nuts,” The Guardian reported.

Another report by CNN Business, an egg shortage has led to record profits for Cal-Maine Foods, the nation’s largest egg producer and distributor. Profits were up 65 percent in Nov. 2022 in comparison to the same timeframe the year before.

The company made a whopping $198 million in three months after an avian influenza outbreak struck more than 50 million birds.

“The significantly higher selling prices, our enduring focus on cost control, and our ability to adapt to inflationary market pressures led to improved profitability overall,” Max Bowman, Cal-Maine’s finance chief, said in a statement.

It’s something that has caused Farm Action, which advocates on behalf of farmers, to call for the FTC to investigate skyrocketing prices. “Contrary to industry narratives, the increase in the price of eggs has not been an ‘Act of God’—it has been simple profiteering,” Farm Action’s letter to the FTC states.

Farm Action executives have been in talks with the media to further explain why an investigation needs to occur.

“Egg prices in the grocer store have on average tripled for consumers since last year,” Angela Huffman, Farm Action’s co-founder and vice-president, told The Guardian. “Dominant egg corporations are blaming inflation and avian flu for price hikes, but if they were only raising prices to cover this cost, why are they raking in fivefold product margins?”

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Huffman noted that while the avian flu was a real threat, it still “doesn’t justify” the price gouging of companies.

“Somebody needs to pay attention, and we didn’t really see anyone asking why,” Joe Van Wye, Farm Action’s director of policy and outreach, added in an interview with Insider. “We wanted to call attention to the issue, make sure that our enforcers knew that we thought something fishy was going on.”

Farm Action isn’t the only one calling out Cal-Maine and other producers for skyrocketing egg prices. Politicians and activists are also decrying the increase.

PHOTO: Eggs are displayed at a grocery store, Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2023, in Marietta, Ga. The national average price for a dozen eggs hit $3.59 in November, up from $1.72 a year earlier, according to the latest government data. (AP Photo/Mike Stewart)

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