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Why there are currently no eggs in supermarkets in Norway

Robin-Ivan Capar
Robin-Ivan Capar - [email protected]
Why there are currently no eggs in supermarkets in Norway
On March 25th, 2024, there weren't any eggs stocked on the shelves at the Extra Damsgård store in Bergen, located in western Norway. Photo by: Robin-Ivan Capar / The Local Norway

As shoppers across Norway notice empty supermarket shelves where eggs should be, concerns have arisen about the country's egg shortage in the run-up to Easter.


Norwegian supermarkets have grappled with a widespread shortage of eggs since last spring, with the shortages making national headlines numerous times over the past 12 months. 

READ MORE: Everything you need to know about supermarkets in Norway

Recently, the shortages have led to fears that there may not be enough eggs over Easter.

Now, in several Norwegian cities, those fears have started to become a reality.

On March 25th, The Local was able to confirm that several stores in Bergen, western Norway, including Kiwi, Extra, and Coop, had no eggs on their shelves.

Extra even put up a sign stating that eggs are sold out due to the shortage of eggs in the market.

Extra eggs notice

On March 25th, 2024, the Extra Damsgård store in Bergen displayed a sign announcing that they were out of eggs due to a shortage in the market. Photo by: Robin-Ivan Capar / The Local Norway

Norwegian media has also reported empty shelves in Oslo and other cities.

Complaints about egg shortages have been common on social media and in the news in recent days.

The lack of eggs also comes after Agriculture Minister Geir Pollestad promised on one of public broadcaster NRK's news programmes on March 20th that there would be enough eggs at Easter.

But how did we get here?

A cut in supply – and external factors

Last year, Nortura, a major agricultural cooperative in Norway responsible for the egg market, offered farmers compensation to reduce egg production due to overproduction concerns.

However, since then, demand has increased due to disease outbreaks across Europe and a weak Norwegian krone making eggs from Norway more attractive.

In the winter, Notura decided to make more eggs available for purchase wholesale. More eggs being bought as ingredients in food production has led to a reduction in the number of eggs available on store shelves.  

Increased demand has also affected the situation. According to Nortura's January forecasts, egg production is projected to increase by 1 percent this year, while sales are expected to rise by 2 percent.


Kiwi eggs

The Kiwi Damsgård store in Bergen was also out of eggs in late March of 2024. Photo by: Robin-Ivan Capar / The Local Norway

Norwegian supermarkets, earlier in March, began to express concerns about an egg shortage over the Easter holidays.

Norway's Agriculture Minister Geir Pollestad summoned Nortura to a meeting in mid-March, demanding an explanation for the lack of eggs on store shelves in anticipation of Easter.

Furthermore, Nortura found itself embroiled in a legal dispute, facing a lawsuit filed by egg supplier Den Stolte Hane, in which it was criticised for prioritising egg supply to industrial production over ensuring fully stocked store shelves for Easter.


What is being done to address the situation

Nortura has said egg imports must be increased to mitigate the shortage, citing them as a necessity dictated by Norwegian policies and circumstances beyond their control.

Furthermore, in response to the ongoing shortage, the Norwegian government took action in February by maintaining zero tariffs on egg imports.

The goal was to ensure an adequate egg supply by allowing the food industry to source eggs from abroad while using Norwegian farm-produced eggs to replenish grocery store shelves.

Despite these efforts, Nortura acknowledges that achieving sufficient egg availability remains challenging.

In mid-March, the Meat and Poultry Industry's National Association (KLF) said it was too late to get enough eggs for Easter.

As things now stand, it seems the shortage will persist throughout April.


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D. Graham 2024/04/04 13:28
You now need an article about rules for keeping chickens at home...

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