While the financial world was losing its bearings over the last few weeks there is a bastion of stability.
This cannot be found on Bay Street or Wall Street and certainly not in Washington, D.C. or Brussels. They are egg farms. They weathered the Great Recession of 2008 and 2009 and, if those years are an indication of how they will handle the current turmoil, 2011 should be no different.
It seems that when the going gets tough, consumers turn to eggs as an inexpensive, nutritious and remarkably flexible, comforting food. In effect, it’s omelets to sooth the soul.
According to data from Statistics Canada (which can be found here: http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/23-015-x/23-015-x2011001-eng.htm), egg production went up through 2008 and 2009 and so did total sales.
In 2010, the farmgate value of egg sales dropped 0.8 per cent to $912.3 million. But even that is a whole lot better than what other Canadians experienced. And while the value of egg sales dropped slightly, egg production was 636.3 million dozen, an increase of 2.5 per cent from 2009.
The egg industry also continues to grow. In March 2009 there were just under 26 million layers in barns nationwide. In March of this year, that had risen to 27.23 million, according to Statistics Canada.
On the price front, prices dipped and struggled through 2005, 2006, and hit a low point in Jan. 2007 at 98 cents a dozen.
They rose through 2007 ending the year at $1.14. They continued up through 2008 ending the year at $1.25, held steady through 2009, slid back in Jan. 2010 to $1.11 and rose to $1.21 in December. In March of this year, Statistics Canada says, prices were $1.22 a dozen.
In a world where stock markets can drop 15 per cent in a week, eggs are looking good – especially in a frying pan with some chives, cheese and maybe green pepper.
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