Egg producers scrambling to curtail cross-border shopping 0
B.C. Egg Marketing Board built this fire truck out of 20,000 egg cartons. (CARMINE MARINELLI/ 24 HOURS
B.C. egg producers want shoppers to take it easy on cross-border shopping, warning the province loses millions of dollars thanks to people heading stateside to purchase the protein staples.
Anne-Marie Butler, finance director for the B.C. Egg Marketing Board, said consumers only save about $1 per carton buying eggs below the 49th parallel.
"We're asking them to take eggs off their shopping list next time they go south of the border, because really, the (economic) impact outweighs that small savings," she said, citing a 2012 study from MNP accounting firm that found nearly two-million cartons of American eggs are brought into B.C. each year.
The resulting economic impacts on egg farmers, feed merchants and egg-grading stations amounts to $3.1 million in forfeited gross domestic product annually - enough to buy four fire trucks, according to Butler.
The marketing board illustrated that loss Wednesday with the unveiling of a fire truck constructed out of 20,000 egg cartons.
Cross-border shoppers from B.C. came under fire in August after a Facebook page was set up asking the Bellingham, Wash. Costco to establish a "special time" for Americans.
"Cross-border shopping has really become an issue since the dollar has gone over par," said Tim Silk, a professor and consumer behaviour researcher at the University of B.C.'s Sauder School of Business.
He added it's not realistic to expect shoppers to leave eggs off the grocery list if people are already picking up other groceries.
Furthermore, most buyers aren't very good at recalling the prices of items and often don't understand if they're actually saving money, according to Silk.
"When you actually think about the time and the cost (to travel across the border), the question is: are consumers doing the math?"