High egg prices causing Mainers to shop local instead of in store

Published: Jan. 10, 2023 at 4:50 PM EST|Updated: Jan. 10, 2023 at 4:51 PM EST
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BREWER, Maine (WABI) - “I was told by colleagues lately that all there was left on the rack was a dozen eggs organic for $10 a dozen,” said local farmer Fatima Garcia.

The cost of groceries has increased dramatically in the last year. Now, local markets in Maine are battling with the rising costs of eggs after an Avian Flu outbreak last fall.

“I mean, there’s a lot of things that are so price sensitive, and eggs being one of those things that we’re actually losing money on every dozen eggs we sell right now. But, if we go any higher than, you know, we price ourselves out of the competition completely. I mean, we were 2.49 to 3.99 on a dozen eggs, you know, with about 30 days ago, maybe a little bit, maybe closer to 40 days ago, but it really went quick,” said manager at Tozier’s Family Market Dale Tozier Jr.

Tozier says he’s seen many customers opt out of buying eggs altogether despite them being a popular necessity.

“Do you see a light at the end of the tunnel here anytime soon?” said Tozier.

“No. Some of our friends in the business are saying the companies that we buy eggs from are telling us that, you know, we could be seeing a $10 dozen eggs before too long,” Tozier added.

Some Mainers are now turning to local farmers hoping to save a couple of dollars compared to the store. However, poultry farmers have had to increase their prices and are struggling to keep up with the demand.

“Now, I literally bring nine dozen every time I go to work once a week, and they go within that night or the following night. They’re usually all claimed for by the time I bring them. So, I charge $4 A dozen. It’s up from $3 that I used to charge,” Garcia said.

Fatima Garcia, who has her own farm with 22 chickens, says she’s grateful to help her colleagues and hopes other people in the community can find local vendors until prices drop at the store.

“Ask your local farmers, look, people you know, even though it’s winter, their hens are still laying, mine are daily. So, if you look, reach out to your local farmers, I’m sure they’ll meet your need,” said Garcia.