360 of the international egg industry's leaders and decision makers met in Venice at the end of March, for first International Egg Commission (IEC) conference of the year. During the two days of conference sessions, issues and trends affecting the international egg industry were discussed. Most of these addressed the key element that everything in the egg business is nowadays connected.
By Ad Bal
One of the key aspects of the IEC conferences is the diversity of the speakers. Despite this wide variety of expertise, there was one resounding message: the world has changed. Everything we do is now intrinsically connected.
This also refers to the future of food production which is now fundamentally connected to multiple external factors including, the environment, the global economy, the global population, even oil prices. From the stock markets in the US and Europe, through to the world’s changing climate and population growth in Asia and Africa, everything has an impact.
All work together
Dr Ilaria Capua, from the OIE/FAO Reference Laboratory for Avian Influenza and Newcastle Disease, spoke about our rapidly changing, interconnected world, and the importance of a united approach. Capua told delegates that viral evolution is taking place; viruses change so fast that it is very difficult to identify appropriate vaccination strategies to keep the infections under control.
She said: “Viruses change, they change very much, they change like the caterpillar changes into a butterfly.” Dr Capua explained that her laboratory is working closely with international organisations to control occurrences of animal disease and avoid humans contracting viruses such as H5N1. Capua stressed the importance of animal health and public health professionals working together.
Trust is a valuable asset
Charlie Arnot, from the Center for Food Integrity also told the IEC that times have changed: “We live in brand new times; our world has fundamentally changed and it will continue to change. Social values and expectations for how food is produced, how it comes to market and how it will be marketed are different to how they have been before.
In this changing world, it is important to realise that organisations must work together, collectively within the industry”, he explained. “You have an interest in not only what your firm does and what your company does. You also have an interest in what other companies within your sector do as well”. If a business loses public trust, this can impact on the entire industry, not only the individual business. Arnot told the IEC: “I would argue that trust is actually the most valuable asset that your organisation owns. Without trust, the rest of your assets have no value.”
World Egg Day re-launch
During the IEC Venice conference the new World Egg Day logo was unveiled. World Egg Day was created in 1996 and is celebrated every year on the second Friday in October. On World Egg Day, events are held across the world to celebrate the egg, and tell everyone from consumers to health professionals, about the incredible role eggs play in people’s diets around the world.
This year World Egg Day is being held on Friday October 12th. This will be the 17th World Egg Day and will also be the launch of the industry’s vibrant new World Egg Day logo. The next IEC conference is being held in London, UK, this coming September.