Industry members report that chickens have been affected by the hot weather in the summer and autumn, laying fewer eggs.
Farmers also say they cannot afford to expand quickly enough to meet the growing customer demand for free-range eggs.
News is now circulating that British supermarket chains will switch to selling imported free-range eggs, a move which has angered UK farmers. Somerfield
will reportedly be the first supermarket in the country to switch to selling French free-range eggs, with Iceland
potentially to follow.
British farmers wishing to expand their free-range operations can be held up by planning permission, and newcomers are being put off by the high level of cash investment needed, which is reportedly as much as Â£500,000 (737,000 euro).