What bird flu has to do with the price of eggs
The humble egg could be about to make a dent in the multimillion-rand hospitality industry. With the holiday season on the doorstep‚ tourists might have to fork out more for their meals – especially breakfast.
Since the outbreak of avian influenza‚ or bird flu‚ egg prices in Western Cape have risen‚ as more than three million birds have been infected nationwide. This affects just about every industry that requires eggs.
The price of the city's most famous brownies – from the award-winning Brownies and Downies restaurant‚ which serves as a training centre for people with intellectual disabilities – has risen from R25 to R28 each.
Restaurant manager Wayne Schultz said they were left with no choice: “We can still acquire eggs‚ but it is more difficult.”
When asked how tourism could be affected‚ Jeff Rosenberg‚ spokesperson for the Federated Hospitality Association of South Africa (FEDHASA)‚ said: “Restaurants and hotels are concerned about the chicken and egg shortage. But this doesn’t mean our members will not be able to provide customers with what they require.”
“We continue to weigh up our options‚ which at this stage also include importing chicken to meet the demand. Unfortunately‚ the same cannot be said about eggs – they cannot be imported‚ due to the short lifespan. Although we know eggs are still available‚ you have to search far and wide in order to secure supply‚ and at this stage the demand exceeds the supply.”
Tourism MEC Alan Winde has been working closely with farms‚ economists and scientists to study the outbreak’s impact‚ and believes that it will be small rural communities‚ not tourist hubs like Cape Town‚ that will be most affected by the egg shortage.
“Western Cape is the worst affected province‚” said Winde.
An on-going investigation into solutions for the outbreak is expected to be completed in less than a month‚ Winde added. This will guide the local government in further action against the outbreak.
Until then‚ local restaurants and business are trying to keep things sunny side-up.