Waitrose invests £2.6m in farmers to keep eggs on shelves

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Marks & Spencer and Morrisons are the latest grocers to join Tesco, Asda and Lidl in rationing the sale of boxes as the impacts of rising costs and bird flu continue to take their toll. However, Waitrose said it has no plans to do the same, saying it is confident it has “strong availability of British free-range eggs for purchase both online and in our shops”.

Sainsbury’s and the Co-op have also not introduced any limits, with the latter monitoring the situation.

Waitrose said its cash injection will help farmers with soaring production costs such as energy and chicken feed.

Executive director James Bailey said: “Without our farmers, we can’t function as a business. We’ve cultivated longstanding relationships and paying our farmers fairly and offering our customers free-range British eggs are commitments we simply won’t sacrifice, even when the going gets tough.

“We continue to have a good supply, which we believe in part is testament to these relationships and our commitment to our farmers.

“With shortages elsewhere in the market, we have seen a slight rise in demand but we’re working hard to ensure we continue to have quality, high welfare products on our shelves.”

The National Farmers’ Union has called for an “urgent investigation” into the egg supply chain disruption, but the Government insists UK food supply lines are “resilient”.

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