In comments submitted today to the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry Hearing on the “Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza: The Impact on the U.S. Poultry Sector and Protecting U.S. Poultry Flocks,” the American Bakers Association (ABA) President & CEO Robb MacKie highlighted the devastating impact the outbreak has had on the procurement of adequate egg supplies for bakers.
Starting in late April, bakers became concerned about future egg supplies, but these concerns quickly became a reality in early May when egg product suppliers began putting bakers on allocation, or reducing the amount of contracted egg product deliveries.
“Within days, many suppliers declared “Force Majeure.” Suppliers temporarily suspended all deliveries until the supply crisis passed. This forced many bakers to seek alternative sources for egg products, but none were to be found,” said MacKie.
To date, ABA has worked on seeking additional egg product imports to help meet demands and was recently successful in having the Netherlands added to the approved importer list. While ABA is very pleased that USDA has recognized the nature of the crisis and its impact on the baking and food-producing industries, more is needed to secure an adequate supply.
“ABA stands ready to support the domestic egg production industry as it works to overcome the devastating impact the avian influenza has had on egg-laying hen flocks. As a healthy domestic industry is critical to solving long-term egg supply concerns, ABA will continue to work with USDA and FDA to seek expediencies in the importation process, allowing qualifying countries to export needed egg product ingredients for use in U.S. baking and food manufacturing,” added MacKie.