Community views on the egg industry

2020 community survey

The 2020 community survey to explore the impacts and contributions of the egg industry 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.

Survey data was collected online via an open invitation to anyone in the Australian community over the age of 18 years, and via a research panel. We collected 5008 surveys that are representative of the Australian population and 2,446 via the open invitation. The survey was completed online and took approximately 20 minutes to complete. It covered the impacts and contributions of the egg industry across areas such as the environment, animal welfare, food security, and livelihoods. This year we also examined the impacts of COVID-19 on Australian community members.

This is the final year in a three-year program of research conducted by CSIRO with Australian Eggs, which began in 2018; this report summarises the 2020 data and provides comparison across the 2018, 2019 and 2020 data sets. In total, 27,060 Australians have participated in this program of research across the three years.

The results are available now. Learn more

The 2020 community survey timeline.

Background

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.

Learn more