Suppliers scramble to meet demand

TASMANIANS will notice an egg shortage in the lead-up to Christmas after a bird flu outbreak in New South Wales shut two poultry farms.

Pure Foods Eggs managing director Danny Jones yesterday said the hole in the market would put pressure on his company, which only sells in Tasmania, to supply the demand.

``Tasmania does import a lot of mainland eggs and when availability reduces there is more pressure [for Tasmanian suppliers] to supply to that market,'' Mr Jones said.

Mr Jones said his company was not intending to put the price up because of the shortage, as grain prices had already seen a recent increase.

``We don't want to play auction games.'' 

Mr Jones, whose company supplies 60 per cent of eggs in the state, said he already had two inquiries from interstate buyers wanting his products.

``We haven't taken on new customers, we're just seeing that all our existing customers want more eggs,'' Mr Jones said.

``We just simply don't have the product.''

Christmas had exacerbated the problem, Mr Jones said.

A Woolworths spokeswoman said customers may notice some gaps in egg supply in stores. ``We have been working with our suppliers to maintain supply and minimise any impact on customers,'' she said.

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