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Morton restaurant says egg prices have them scrambling

Published: Apr. 14, 2022 at 6:43 PM CDT
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PEORIA (Heart of Illinois ABC) - Miss Vickie’s Café in Morton goes through abut 20 dozen eggs a week. They said raised eggs prices caused concern.

“We’ve bounced back from COVID the best we can,” Owner Vickie white said. “The inflation went up, the gas prices went up and now the eggs.”

Egg prices were inconsistent. They rose and dropped around $0.50 in March and April.

White said they spent nearly $35 more per 15 dozen eggs.

Earlier in the year, Miss Vickie’s Café raised their prices due to wage increases. They said they couldn’t raise them anymore without alienating their customers.

“It’s hard on us little guys and a lot of my fellow business wonders are feeling the same pressure,” White said. “I know eggs are just a small thing - that little egg is hurting a lot of people.”

A strain of bird flu affected nearly 25 million birds, mostly chickens.

The USDA said that flu could have been what was contributing to poultry and egg price increases.

One local farmer said his prices stayed stable through all the supply chain issues due to the scale of his farm and consumers noticed.

“When there’s shortages in grocery stores and when it’s expensive in restaurants, it actually shines a light on a small farm,” Owner of Red River Farms Chad Fleck said.

Red river farms farmed meat and egg chickens. They said they worked year round to make sure diseases could not easily spread to their flock by keeping their birds outside and mobile.

“Confinement operations... they’re extremely efficient... which can drive the price down, but it drives your risk up, so this is what is hitting them,” Fleck said. “This bird flu problem is an issue because they’re in a confinement operation... We avoid that.”

While Red River Farm was able to keep their prices consistent with current issues, they’re not immune to effects of supply chain issues. Last year the price of chicken feed went up and their egg prices rose.

They hope to continue to provide a food source for the community that’s not as affected by national and global supply.

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