French Farmers Protest EU By Destroying 100,000 Eggs a Day


Can you say scrambled eggs? In France, poultry farmers pummeled a tax office in Brittany with 100,000 eggs, protesting a fall in prices and increased animal welfare regulations imposed by the EU. The farmers are vowing to destroy 100,000 eggs every day for the rest of the week. The availability and surplus of eggs in France has caused the price to stay below the heightened production prices, which were caused by the EU restrictions. Farmers are calling for the government to regulate and reduce egg production so that prices can rise.

Yet there isn't need for regulation here. The profit margin has decreased as a result of regular market activity and primarily because of the EU restrictions, which the production output will eventually adjust to.

The EU animal welfare restrictions took effect in January 2012, requiring farmers to build bigger cages for their hens. According to the head of the egg section of the representative union in Brittany, the new rules have caused the price of production to rise to .95-euro cents per kilogram. The purchase price is only .75-euro cents.

The night before, poultry farmers had also traveled to a similar office in Côtes d'Armor, dumping another 100,000. This amount is equivalent to 5% of France's total daily egg production. Farmers said that this would only be a preliminary measure to combat the issue. If their demands were not met, they would take further steps to influence government officials. 

Farmers say that they are being forced to destroy many of their own egg supply because of the product’s abundance. They have demanded that the government reduce the supply by 5% and set up specific locations where the excess eggs can be destroyed.

The French are known of their theatrical protests. Just two months ago, farmers lead thousands of cows and sheep through Paris to protest rising costs in rearing farm animals. 

If these poultry farmers were able to massively increase their egg destruction, they could end up affecting the daily supply and subsequently drive up the price, but this is highly unlikely.

Eventually the market should adjust naturally to the changes in price and the animal welfare restrictions, achieving a new equilibrium.