Community views on the egg industry
2020 community survey completed
The 2020 community survey to explore the impacts and contributions of the egg industry is was undertaken between 27 April and 5 June 2020. Funded by Australian Eggs, the research is part of a three-year program examining the relationship between the egg industry and the Australian community.
All Australian residents aged 18 years or older were invited to participate. Alongside this open invitation for community members to have their say, views from a sample of around 5,000 Australians were being collected. The survey took approximately 20 minutes to complete and covered the impacts and contributions of the egg industry across areas such as the environment, animal welfare, food security, and livelihoods.
This year’s work will build on the 2018 and 2019 findings to allow year-on-year comparisons and provide insight into shifts in community attitudes and priorities over that time. In particular, this year, we will be looking to track the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on public views around food supply systems, food security, and food access.
The results will be available in October 2020.
For many Australian industries, and worldwide, community expectations of how they operate are changing. These expectations extend beyond mainstream consumer purchasing decisions to much broader questions about how industries conduct themselves. CSIRO has deep experience working with a range of industries and the communities they interact with to better understand their relationship. This expertise is now being applied to the Australian egg industry.
Egg farmers are navigating a new marketplace in which consumers have unprecedented access to information. In response, Australian Eggs has released an Australian Egg Industry Sustainability Framework and approached CSIRO to conduct a research program as an input to this process.
Australian Eggs’ stated position is that Australian agricultural industries must be more transparent to build trust with a changing Australian public that is increasingly interested in how their food is produced. The Sustainability Framework forms a long-term commitment by the egg industry to transparent engagement with the community.
“The industry’s objective is to farm eggs for all Australians in a way that is socially, environmentally and economically responsible. The relationship between agriculture and communities is complex. The egg industry has recognised the best way to manage this complexity is to increase the quantity and quality of engagement with the public and set a platform of transparency and accountability.” – Australian Eggs’ Managing Director, Rowan McMonnies
Managing Director of Australian Eggs, Rowan McMonnies, said previous insights from the CSIRO’s research have formed the basis for some crucial changes across the egg industry.
“We learned last year that environmental impact has emerged as an even stronger area of interest for Australians and, as a result, we funded a suite of new research projects to identify how and where the industry can lower its environmental footprint. This included feed efficiency improvements, new waste management technologies and online tools to help egg producers assess the viability of solar on their farm. Previous research also showed that food security is a major priority for the community and the egg industry responded by ramping up biosecurity efforts. The benefits of that can be seen right now as the strict biosecurity measures put in place have helped protect farmworkers from COVID-19 and ensure continuity of egg supply.”
The research is the third annual cycle of community engagement to inform the Australian Egg Industry Sustainability Framework.