One of Scotland’s leading free-range egg producers has warned the industry is experiencing a slowdown due to Brexit and global trade disputes.
Free-range egg producer and packer Glenrath Farms reported a 20 percent decline in pre-tax profits in the last fiscal year.
It saw its profit before tax drop from £ 4.6million in 2019 to £ 3.6million in 2020, with revenues roughly equivalent to £ 53million.
President Sir John Campbell said the industry was facing challenges he predicted and warned about.
“My long-anticipated slowdown for the industry is firmly with us given the challenges we face with external factors such as Brexit and the uncertainties caused by global trade disputes,” he said.
In his 2019 report, Sir John made a positive note on Brexit: ‘All UK supermarkets are currently all committed to buying UK-produced eggs wherever possible and the advent of Brexit will strengthen that demand. .
“The UK egg industry faces the European challenge to ensure that we are able to support our customers with UK products, not just now but for the foreseeable future.”
But in his latest report, he said Brexit raised some concerns: “While Brexit offers opportunities for UK egg farmers, it also causes disruption and concerns in the market.
“Uncertainty will persist within the industry and within our company and we must be careful to manage risk,” he said.
Sir John said large amounts of imports were purchased from European countries, such as feed, plant and machinery.
Even with an agreement in place between the UK and the EU, he said there was a risk that not enough feed was purchased or that the price would rise and be reflected not in sales, thus reducing profits.
But Glenrath chairman said the company has coped well with the challenges faced by the free-range egg industry.
“The UK egg industry is currently facing challenges and we at Glenrath are adjusting as quickly as possible,” said Sir John.
“Despite the significant investment made by the company to meet the demands of our customers, we have remained profitable throughout the process.
“The results for the year were achieved by adopting a prudent management approach and cost savings across the group. “