March 1, 2023
With funding from FMI Foundation, UEP, and UEA, a team of researchers from Michigan State University, in collaboration with Kansas State University and Purdue University, released a study on conventional to cage-free housing conversion. The study investigated challenges and opportunities associated with the transition to cage-free housing, which included survey and interview data from egg producers, egg consumers, and economic modeling of the industry. The study cited challenges relating to costs and construction, a continuing lack of consumer demand, and growing concern about unintended consequences related to operations and financing.
"This research confirms what egg producers have known – cage-free transitions are extremely expensive, take years to implement and must be done in active partnership with their retail customers,” said Chad Gregory, President and CEO, United Egg Producers. "Further, the study sheds light on one of the greatest challenges – that grocery shoppers do not understand transition deadlines and largely are unwilling to pay the premiums necessary to make the transitions cost-effective for egg farmers and their retail customers."
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