Wheat, a key ingredient in chicken feed, has almost doubled in price because Russia and Ukraine produce about 30% of the global supply. Farmers are calling for a 40p increase in the cost of a dozen eggs to meet the rising costs. “Our feed has really gone up in price nearly 50%, and feed constitutes about 60-70% of the egg production costs,” said Mr Sharples, who owns Clyttir Farm in Llanbedr DC, Ruthin. He said UK retailers were giving nothing back to farmers, and the only thing they understood would be a “food shortage”. The feed price has gone up, around 18 months ago it was around the £250 a ton mark, but over the last six months or so it’s gone up to around £400 a ton. The cost of feed is virtually what the eggs are being sold for, so there’s virtually no margin in it whatsoever, some are almost at a loss. Every £10 the feed rises, the eggs have to go up a penny, and that hasn’t happened. Nobody can sustain these sort of costs indefinitely, it needs to be passed on as soon as possible.” Andrew Joret, chairman of the British Egg Industry Council, said the “skyrocketing” price of chicken feed, along with rising energy costs, was having a “really, really severe” impact on farmers. Mr Joret said challenges during the Covid pandemic, followed by this winter’s avian flu outbreak, had been compounded by war in Ukraine and a subsequent rise in feed price. He added that the purchase of day-old chicks decreased, which he has called “majorly concerning”. “This doesn’t imply a shortage in eggs tomorrow, but it does imply the national flock will go down in the future, and that is a major concern. “Producers need confidence that they are going to be able to produce and make money, and not lose money, or even go bankrupt which would be the worst case scenario. “Even with a small cost increase eggs will still remain exceptionally good value. You can make a meal for a family with eggs, and it’s much much cheaper than any other form of protein.”