Nassau egg producers in Catch 22
Many grocery shoppers in Nassau have been surprised by
a recent increase in egg prices given government the existence of price controls
on that staple.
Local egg producers have been unable to meet the country's demand for the item, and have blamed an increase in the price of corn in the US, according to Simeon Pinder, Director of Agriculture. Another factor in the egg shortage, according to Pinder was the unfortunate coincidence of the hike in corn prices occurring during a time of the year when egg producers stop their chickens from producing for several weeks.
In an effort to ensure the availability of adequate amount of eggs on the local market, the importation of eggs began. This in turn, caused a shortage in locally produced eggs. When producers receive foreign eggs they are allowed to charge wholesalers 10% more than the landing duty paid cost.
"One farm has already decided to go out of business," said Larry Feingold at one of the two major egg production facilities in Nassau, Rainbow Farms. "If the government wants to protect the rest of the industry, it's going to have to stop all imports. The government has allowed egg producers to import eggs from the US and mark them up 10%. Then they sell them to the retailers who are allowed to tab on an additional 10%. It's that double mark-up that consumers are now being hit with at the checkout line."
Then eggs from the US got so expensive that no one could afford to import them to the Bahamas; that coupled with our decreased output made for the shortage. If the production of local eggs has not come up to par by March 30, it is not certain as to what the government's next step will be to ensure that producers do not suffer a loss in profit.
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