The advocacy group Farm Action recently released an open letter calling on the Federal Trade Commission to investigate increasing egg prices.
Data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics show that the price of a dozen large grade A eggs has skyrocketed from US$1.788 in December of 2021 to US$4.250 one year later. Culling of poultry populations due to the outbreak of avian flu—which hit flocks particularly hard in the spring of 2022 and again in the fall—is partly to blame for the increase.
But Farm Action alleges that price gouging and collusion are the main drivers. And at the heart of the problem, the organization argues, is the fact that power lies in the hands of a few industry actors.
While the egg sector is less consolidated than the pork and beef industries, Cal-Maine Foods controls 20 percent of the egg market in the United States. The top 10 largest companies are responsible for more than half of all egg production in the country. According to advocates at Farm Action, this power has allowed companies to engage in price coordination, price gouging, and other unfair practices, pushing egg prices higher.
To read more about rising egg prices, avian flu, and corporate consolidation check out this Forbes op-ed.
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