The southwest is “in the same boat as everyone else” when it comes to the egg shortage, regional spokesperson for the National Farmers' Union David George said.

A national egg shortage has hit the UK, which David explained has been caused by a double whammy of circumstances.

He said: “Two things: avian influenza, which has led to some free-range flocks being culled, but mainly rapidly rising production costs. Feed costs have risen 43% in the last 12 months and energy costs have increased substantially as well, so many egg producers have been scaling back, which means there are currently not enough eggs to keep up with demand.”

David further explained that the NFU is calling for changes to more fairly benefit all those involved in egg production.

He said: “The NFU is calling for more fairness in the supply chain. The cost of eggs has increased, but this money has not found its way back to producers. Urgent investigation by Defra into whether an ‘exceptional market conditions’ declaration should be made under the Agriculture Act 2020, given the severe disruption that egg producers and UK consumers are experiencing. This would help give producers confidence to continue.”

As David explained, the situation has not led to a shortage that would necessitate a scramble for consumers to stock up on eggs at home, but availability is limited.

David said: “The egg situation is patchy, usually you can buy them though there may be gaps on the shelves.”

How to find eggs

So, with the egg shortage, how can you be sure to find eggs? Sainsbury’s and Tesco offer the availability to check stock in real time online and with an app, respectively. As of writing, all stores checked were reporting that eggs were in stock, though some have limited availability.