A new study funded in part by United Egg Producers and the United Egg Association shows the transition to cage-free eggs will increase costs and reduce profits. It also shows that producers may not be able to make the 2026 deadline.
The study says, “Conversion from conventional to cage-free housing is costly for both egg producers and final consumers.” There remains a lot of uncertainty about the extent to which egg producers will be willing and able to continue transitioning to cage-free housing at a rate commensurate with retailers’ cage-free pledges. Roughly 55 percent of consumers surveyed for the study are motivated by price and don’t discriminate between cage and cage-free eggs.
Producers surveyed also reveal higher costs and labor requirements associated with cage-free production. Producers are also experiencing challenges in getting financing to convert or build cage-free facilities without longer-term commitments from retailers, particularly as interest rates continue climbing higher.