Help shape the future of the egg industry

17th May 2021 | Eativity editors

Australians are being invited to take part in a large-scale research study to explore community views and inform a national conversation about the egg industry.

The research is being conducted by “engagement science” company Voconiq, which was founded by social scientists from the CSIRO in 2019, and will explore community attitudes towards the egg industry across a broad range of topics, including food security, biosecurity, traceability, animal welfare and environmental impacts.

Voconiq CEO Dr Kieren Moffat says this research will build on the previous CSIRO findings, and will help the industry to better understand the community’s changing views.

“More than 27,000 Australians have contributed to the research over the last three years, providing a deeper understanding on what the community values in the egg industry,” Dr Moffat says. “We know hen welfare arouses strong feelings among many people, and that’s been a focus of the research to date, but we’ve also found the community is very interested in how Australia’s eggs are produced and how safe they are, especially since the pandemic.”

“We encourage Australians who want to have a voice on issues related to the egg industry to take the survey. Data collected will be shared with Australian Eggs to action a response.”

Managing Director of Australian Eggs, Rowan McMonnies, says that the community’s insights are instrumental in helping shape industry plans.

“Australians consume 17 million eggs every day, so it’s important for the industry to understand and respond to community concerns to continue to maintain trust,” he says.

“Previous research has shown that concerns around the egg industry’s environmental footprint, food safety standards and hen welfare have become more prominent, so the industry has addressed this by developing new tools and research projects.”

Australian Eggs recently launched a Sustainability Dashboard to help farmers assess their farm and business practices, and is also undertaking a comprehensive carbon footprint assessment to develop a framework to move the industry towards carbon neutrality.

“Further to this, a Biosecurity Virtual Reality Tool was created to improve on-farm biosecurity practices, and the industry is looking into new technologies to improve the traceability of eggs for maintaining food safety standards and to expand the capacity of egg farms to monitor hen welfare,” McMonnies says.

The research is the fourth annual cycle of community engagement to inform the Australian Eggs Sustainability Framework. To participate in the 2021 survey, go to voconiq.com/eggs. The survey closes on Sunday, June 27. When buying eggs, either at the shops or at a cafe or restaurant, remember to always choose wisely.

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