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Egg price hike sees consumers hatch a boycott as winter production drops

By Suzanna Goussous - Jan 17,2017 - Last updated at Jan 17,2017

AMMAN — Consumers have called for a boycott of table eggs after recent price hikes, while poultry farm owners and Ministry of Agriculture officials on Tuesday said rising costs were due to a “drop in production” for the season.

Consumer Protection Society (CPS) President Mohammad Obeidat said the society started the campaign to boycott table eggs to protest the “monopolisation” of the sector.

“Table eggs are vital to children and adults due to their nutritional benefits. Raising their price by 30 per cent will have an effect on low-income families,” he told The Jordan Times.

“We aim to deliver this message to farm owners and the relevant authorities by boycotting eggs until our demands are met,” Obeidat said. 

He explained that the campaign urges consumers to find alternatives to table eggs.

The society president said several housewives and activists have joined the campaign, launched this week, adding that they have invited their neighbours and family members to join, “until traders and farmers respond to the people’s demands”. 

Consumer Asma Shihadeh, a mother of three, said she will boycott table eggs until the reversal of the decision to raise prices.

“Eggs are one of the most important products for households, especially for children… This decision will affect us all negatively,” she said.

Before the increase, a carton of table eggs used to cost JD2.5, but a carton will cost around JD3.5 after the 30 per cent hike.

During marbaniyeh, the 40 coldest days of winter, the production rate of table eggs decreases, Agriculture Ministry Spokesperson Nimer Haddadin said. 

The marbaniyeh starts on December 21 and ends on January 30.

“The cold weather affects production in most fields, with rates decreasing. The price had to increase to make up for the gap. In winter, electricity bills increase by a good percentage, and the overall cost is higher for farmers,” Haddadin added.

Within two weeks, as the marbaniyeh concludes, prices will return “back to normal”, he said, expecting production to increase after the cold season. 

 

Haddadin noted that the prices of table eggs in Jordan after the 30 per cent increase are still “relatively cheaper” than in neighbouring countries.

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