A rise in home baking during the coronavirus pandemic has led to eggs flying off the supermarket shelves.
Tasmania’s largest free-range egg farm, Pure Foods, said the surge in retail sales had helped to offset the massive drop in demand from restaurants and cafes during isolation.
The increase in egg sales in Coles, Woolworths and independent grocery stores has also helped the company reach an incredible fundraising milestone.
It has now raised a remarkable total of $250,000 for the Save the Tasmanian Devil Appeal, which supports research into a cancer afflicting the world’s largest carnivorous marsupial.
For every distinctive red and black Tassie Devil dozen egg pack sold, 20 cents is donated to the Appeal, which is administered by the University of Tasmania.
Pure Foods managing director Danny Jones said COVID-19 had a large impact on its business. When cafes and restaurants closed, the wholesale side of their business took a large hit.
“Our sales to the food service sector almost halved, but this shortfall has been channelled into the retail sector, notably Coles, Woollies and independent grocers.”
“We have sold more retail packs because those eggs would normally have been sold to our wholesale customers.”
Customers may have noticed fewer eggs on the supermarket and grocery store shelves due to the increase in demand.
“Our hens have a laying capacity that is fixed by mother nature, and we are limited by that.”
Mr Jones said knowing that they had made such a significant contribution to the research was a huge source of pride for the team.
“The entire team at Pure Foods get a huge thrill from knowing our eggs have made such a great contribution to saving our Tassie Devils,” he said.
“We also acknowledge and thank Tassie egg buyers for embracing the Devil Pack and for continuing to support the appeal by buying our eggs.”
Associate Professor Bruce Lyons, a leader of the Devil Immunology Group in the College of Health and Medicine, said the contributions by Pure Foods were critical to their research efforts.
“Over the last few years, these generous funds have allowed us to make major discoveries about how an immune control of the disease could be developed and helps our applications for highly competitive Australian Research Council grants.”
Photo: Danny Jones by Christopher Kid