Egg Prices on the Rise after Prop 2

Many speculated that Prop 2 would spike the cost of eggs, and now the cost of eggs is sky high…

We all knew the after-effects of Prop 2 going into practice in California would have some negative ramifications, not the least of which is the increase in the cost of eggs. Prop 2 went into effect on January 1 of this year mandating that all farmers wishing to sell their eggs to California implement larger cages for the humane treatment of egg-laying hens, doing away with small battery cages. The result of those who chose to comply was a huge capital outlay in costs to revamp their operations, leading to what many speculated would be a spike in the cost of a dozen eggs. And that’s exactly what’s happening.

Affecting the middle to lower income consumer bracket…

Sad part is, it’s affecting the middle to lower income consumer bracket, people who must shell out in some cases double the price of a carton of eggs at the supermarket – taxing an already tight budget. Many families rely on eggs as an affordable staple of their family’s diets. Egg prices in California are sky high, where a carton of eggs now demands $3.16 over $1.18 just one year ago, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The effect of Prop 2 eggs is being seen around the country as well, although not as much as in the Golden State. In fact, eggs in California are going for a whole $2 more per carton than in the Midwest, for example. As egg prices rise, consumers are shelling out more and more dollars to keep up with their dietary lifestyle. Prop 2 solidified what was an already-burgeoning trend toward cage-free chickens, with more and more farmers using this opportunity to change their operations. However, not everyone has been happy with this new law, as many farmers have gone out of business because they either can’t comply or they can’t afford not to sell to CA. Many farmers have responded by reducing their flock size. It makes sense: fewer chickens translate to less production, with less supply translating to a higher price, according to Capital Press.

Of course, it seems not all can be blamed on Prop 2 for these price increases. Many experts cite an unusually high demand for eggs since the start of the year, a higher demand for exports to other countries like Mexico, and severe cold weather in the Midwest that has created an unprecedented slow-down in production. Additionally, the high price of grain across the board has also contributed to the rise, not just for chickens but for all animals. There’s currently a shortage of eggs in California, with the number of egg-laying hens dropping from 17.46 million in 2013 to fewer than 15.6 million in 2014, says the National Agricultural Statistics Service.

 

Many analysts believe the price of eggs will even out eventually as the market adjusts itself, but the specter of a high egg prices still haunts many grocery stores across the country for now.

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