Community views on the egg industry
Funded by Australian Eggs, this 3-year research program will examine the relationship between the egg industry and the Australian community. The CSIRO research program will involve a comprehensive community survey on the impacts and contributions of the egg industry across areas such as the environment, animal welfare, food security, and livelihoods.
The research program is now in its second year. The 2019 community survey closed on 31 August 2019. Data analysis and reporting are underway.
The 2019 community survey will allow CSIRO to build on the 2018 findings to allow year-to-year comparison and gain a deeper understanding of community attitudes. All Australians, aged 18 years or older, were invited to participate in an extensive nation-wide research program aimed at understanding attitudes towards the Australian egg industry.
The research was again conducted using a survey of Australians through a statistically representative sample of over 5,000 people as well as an ‘open call’ to participate for anyone that is interested. The goal is to examine industry issues, both positive and negative, from multiple angles to understand the values driving community attitudes.
In 2019, CSIRO will extend the research process in two important ways:
- The survey will refine and repeat key measures from the 2018 survey that have shown to be central to community confidence in the Australian egg industry, allowing comparisons over time
- The survey will include new aspects to better understand community attitudes on the priority issues identified in the 2018 research program.
“Changing consumer attitudes are influencing how food is produced and one of the main aims of our research is to help egg farmers better understand the drivers of this change. The social science model we’ve developed at CSIRO allows survey participants to consider the impacts and contributions of an industry from multiple angles and that data helps us understand not only what people think, but why they think that way. We expect the results will provide real and compelling data that will help egg farmers understand the diversity of community attitudes and, ultimately, future proof their businesses.” – Senior Research Scientist, Dr Kieren Moffat.
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