Egg Farmers Complain of Distributor Extortion 年前蛋商紅盤價每台斤降4元 蛋農認剝削

Egg farmers are complaining about distributor extortion. It is a widespread practice for distributors to demand lower wholesale prices before the Chinese New Year holiday and then pocket the difference. One retailer says this is a normal part of doing business.


Workers wash, sort and package eggs. One egg farmer recently filed a complaint against egg distributors, who routinely force farmers to lower their prices during the Chinese New Year holiday while they profit from the difference.

Egg Farmer: “(Egg farmers) told distributors, "We don't want [lower] prices [while you profit as the middleman]." In response, they told us, "Fine, go sell your eggs yourselves then." They said they would stop selling our eggs.”

Egg farmers say they are forced to lower their prices every year before the Chinese New Year holiday so that distributors can give themselves a nice new year's bonus. This year, local egg prices were around NT$34.5 per catty. Distributors refused to take the eggs unless farmers agreed to a wholesale price of NT$30.4 per catty. Farmers therefore can't afford to replace older hens because of this and the government freezing egg prices.

Chen Chiu-chi, Erlin Egg Farmer: “We can't get new chickens. Our hens are old, but we can't replace them. The cost of new chickens is too high and we can't afford them. Feed costs (are also very high). It's really hard to be a chicken farmer right now.”

One retailer says distributors do demand a wholesale and retail price difference of NT$3-5 every year before the holiday, but that's because the market is closed for so long. 

Lin Bo-yi, Egg Retailer: “(It's true that distributors ask farmers to lower their prices before the holiday.) Eggs are perishable. The market is closed for seven or eight days (during the holiday). (Egg farmers) have to lower their prices because the market is closed for so long. (During the holiday), stores are closed (so demand goes down).”

The retailer says eggs are perishable and they have to sell them as quickly as possible during the holiday to minimize losses. They also say egg distributors and farmers both make adjustments based on market mechanisms and everything returns to normal after the holiday. The Changhua County Government says it will step up inspections and help egg farmers develop their own distribution channels.

 

 

工作人員忙著將雞蛋,洗選分級和包裝,忙得不可開交,但市面上還是雞蛋大缺貨。有蛋農指出,受到去年疫情和冬天產量降低,已經快要無蛋可賣,蛋商過年期間收購,還會要求產地價降低。

投訴蛋農說:「(蛋農)跟盤商說,我們不要紅盤價,蛋商也會跟我們說,很簡單,那就是你們自己賣蛋,它就不幫我們賣了。」

蛋農說,蛋商每年過年都會要求紅盤價,拉大和批發價的價差。以今年來說,過年前的產地價是每台斤34.5元,而蛋商要求30.5元的批發價,每台斤就降了4元。有蛋農表示,之前蛋價凍漲加上紅盤價的因素,也減少雞隻汰換的意願。

二林蛋農陳秋池說:「我們農民,每個都不進新雞,有的老雞繼續養,換新雞隻,新雞的成本這麼高,我就不進,飼料什麼的,雞隻現在也不好養。」

市場零售商表示,每年過年前,蛋商收購都會以紅盤價計算,和產地價差大約3至5元,不過這是因為過年會遇到休市。

雞蛋零售商林博宜說:「雞蛋有時間性,(過年)會休市7、8天,(蛋農)就要便宜賣出去,休市期間太長,(過年期間)因為外面商店都休息,很多家都休息。」

零售商表示,雞蛋保鮮期短,過年期間得加快銷貨速度,才能減低損失。蛋商和蛋農也都會根據市場機制協調,過年後就會恢復正常收購價。彰化縣府表示,除了嚴加稽查,也會協助蛋農,以自產自銷的方式開拓通路,也減少蛋農損失。

 

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