The Egg Industry Center’s Maro Ibarburu commented on the economic trends affected by the cage-free commitments. Highlighting the Coalition for Sustainable Egg Supply research, he fielded questions regarding the operational costs outlined in the study. These questions were specific to issues like food safety, grade size, yield loss, and increases in flock health expense, increased egg washing. Ibarburu pointed out that the research data was collected regarding nest run eggs so this would not include weight (grade size or yield loss) or additional washing costs.
Ibarburu stated the best way to answer this question would be a study to measure all the way through the time that the eggs are delivered to the store door “because you need to factor in the washing and also that some cage-free facilities are going to be smaller so all the equipment for washing will be depreciated over less eggs.” Ibarburu concluded by saying that he had tried to do a study of this nature, but he did not receive enough participation from producers to publish results. The Egg Industry Center is currently exploring the possibility of another study to compile this type of information for the industry.