Results 1 to 2 of 2

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

  1. #1
    Super Moderator Newmexican's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Heart of Dixie

    Czechs scramble for Easter eggs as shortage bites into festive fun

    Czechs scramble for Easter eggs as shortage bites into festive fun

    Friday 6 April 2012

    European shortfall reported after farmers' failure to meet EU rules results in price hikes, and rationing in Germany

    Traditionally painted Easter eggs will be available in Germany – but other countries will have to hatch new plans during the egg shortage.

    Jana Kopecka is on a mission. The 29-year-old Czech has collected petrol money from acquaintances in Ústí nad Labem and has driven over the German border into Saxony on the hunt for eggs. She is hoping to fill her Skoda hatchback with as many pallets as possible, in an effort to stop a Europe-wide egg shortage from ruining Easter for her friends and family.

    "Eggs are very important for us at Easter," she says. "We paint them, dye them, and according to an old tradition, men and boys go from house to house to say Happy Easter, and they expect to receive eggs in return."

    Since the start of the year eggs have become something of a luxury food item in the Czech Republic. The failure of many Czech farmers to implement the regulations of a new European Union directive that aims to improve farm conditions by providing hens with bigger, more comfortable cages, has led to a huge egg shortage and a massive price rise. Many now drive into Germany, where farmers long ago improved hens' welfare, and where eggs are more plentiful, and cheaper.

    In December, a Czech egg cost 2.50 crowns (8p); now shops are demanding up to 7 crowns (24p). In Germany they cost almost two-thirds less. For the past few months the search for eggs in Czech supermarkets has turned into something of a national sport. Only now are many hen farmers starting to reconstruct their cages, and some have stopped production altogether, citing the costs involved, which they say are prohibitive. To compound the situation, around one-third of Czech eggs come from Poland. But Polish eggs are currently banned from the Czech Republic as Polish egg farmers have been even slower to react.

    The Czech president, Václav Klaus, has blamed the EU for the mess and has hinted at EU-sanctioned market manipulation. "We all know that such massive changes in prices don't take place in a normal market economy," he wrote in his blog. "They take place only where the market is manipulated."
    The Czech Republic's agriculture minister, Petr Bendl, lays the blame closer to home, on unscrupulous business elements whom he accuses of engineering the shortage. "The hen farmers are selling one egg for 3.50 crowns, which are selling in the shops for 7 crowns, so someone in between is making a killing out of this," he said.

    The Czech newspaper Mladá Fronta Dnes has reported heavy runs on eggs from Czech free-range chicken farms, which have caused mile-long traffic jams on normally quiet countryside roads. Bakers and restaurant owners who depend on eggs for their livelihoods have inevitably formed a substantial part of the throng.

    A similar scramble has been taking place across a further 12 states, including Greece, Spain and France, who have failed to comply with the new rules. Consumers in Bulgaria have seen the price of eggs double over the course of a fortnight last month. Egg producers there, who at the same time as being compensated by their government for complying with the EU rules, have been accused of hatching a cartel agreement to exploit the shortage. British producers who introduced the cage changes on time have had demand for their eggs rise dramatically.

    The European Egg Processors Association said that across the EU production of eggs since the new legislation was introduced on 1 January, has fallen by 10%-15%, the equivalent of 200m eggs a week. As a result, over the past month prices of liquid egg have at times tripled on international markets, reaching more than €2 a kg, while the European commission has said the price of eggs had risen 55% since last March.

    The egg crisis dominated a recent conference of the International Egg Commission in Venice, with participants desperately trying to secure imports from outside Europe, such as Argentina and the US, to make up for the shortfall.

    The EU has responded by saying the shortage could have been avoided, had the industry been quicker to take action over legislation written 12 years ago.

    Producers who still have old cages can continue to sell eggs in liquid form, for cake mixes, ice creams, quiches and ready meals, until August. But that is no consolation for anyone in search of a humble so-called 'table egg' in time for Easter.

    Meanwhile, German supermarkets have reacted to the Czech demand by rationing the amount of eggs each customer is allowed to buy, to two boxes per person.

    "We've seen cases where customers have literally packed the whole of the car boot with eggs," said Christina Stylianou, spokeswoman for the Netto supermarket chain. "We've had to ration them to ensure that all of our customers have access to an adequate amount to fulfil their household needs."

    Klaus has meanwhile likened his fellow Czechs' recent hoarding behaviour to the habits they developed under communism when queuing for food was normal. "It's like the economy of scarcity under communism," he said. "People are reacting quickly and in a panicked fashion and that in turn has exacerbated the situation."
    Czechs scramble for*Easter eggs as shortage bites into festive fun | World news |
    Support our FIGHT AGAINST illegal immigration & Amnesty by joining our E-mail Alerts at

  2. #2
    Senior Member forest's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Those eggs are very pretty..
    As Aristotle said, “Tolerance and apathy are the first virtue of a dying civilization.â€

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts