Massachusetts farms and businesses are getting ready for a possible egg shortage.
122 Diner in Holden goes through hundreds of eggs a week. About 85% of their business is breakfast.
“This affects us a lot because, the eggs are the most important for us," chef Alexander Goga said.
The diner is worried eggs could soon become harder to find. Starting on Jan. 1, any eggs or egg products sold in Massachusetts will have to come from hens living in enclosures with at least 1.5 square feet of floor space per bird.
“It will create a huge shortage,” the general manager of the Country Hen, Robert Beauregard, said. “I’ll probably be able to sell every egg that I have, because I am in compliance with the law. But it’s not all about the Country Hen. It’s about the consumers in Massachusetts and their need for this product.”
The Massachusetts Farm Bureau says the state farms are already in compliance with the law, but it doesn’t mean other places are. There are also not enough eggs in Massachusetts for its seven million people.
“We feel that our residents eat about one egg per day, so that's the average and each chicken lays about an egg a day,” the director of Government and Public Affairs, Massachusetts Farm Bureau, Katelyn Parsons, said. “So we have about 300,000 to 400,000 egg laying chickens in Massachusetts.”
According to the New England Brown Egg Council, more than 90% of eggs being sold in Massachusetts will no longer be legal. To help prevent a shortage state lawmakers are looking at making changes to the legislation before the new year. The bills are currently in a conference committee.
“We should be doing everything we can to try and improve the supply chain,” Sen. Mike Moore said. “And the fact that now that we don’t act, it could negatively impact it. I think that speaks more to the fact that we should get this done.”
And farmers and businesses agree. They say supply chain issues of paper, plastics and workers have already caused problems along with prices increases.