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Egg industry commits to UN Sustainable Development Goals

Egg industry leaders have announced that the industry is to work in partnership with the United Nations to fulfil its Sustainable Development Goals.

The World Egg Organisation has identified six key objectives where it is making a significant impact through a range of dedicated sustainability initiatives in line with the UN’s targets.

These objectives specifically address the following goals:

• Zero Hunger – Through its charitable work, the International Egg Foundation is tackling food poverty experienced in developing countries, such as Swaziland and Uganda, through an ever-broadening range of community-based programmes.

• Good Health and Well Being – Eggs fulfil numerous nutritional requirements and the industry is dedicated to educating the world about the positive benefits that this natural resource delivers as part of a balanced diet.

• Quality Education - Egg consumption supports brain development and concentration, particularly in young children. Additionally, the IEF is responsible in its role as educational trustee for initiatives in Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Swaziland, providing resources that enable communities to become successful egg producers.

• Responsible Consumption and Production – Building trust and transparency in food supply chains is essential and to help overcome the threat of Avian Influenza the industry has published its biosecurity recommendations. Secondly, the use of animal welfare is driving the operations of the international egg industry producers and country associations. This can be seen in the WEO’s role supporting the OIE in establishing a framework of Global Standards for Laying Hens.

• Climate Action – The industry share best commercial practices across the industry’s member organisations.

• Partnership for the Goals – The WEO continues to develop constructive relationships with the OIE, Consumer Goods

Photo: Ton Kastermans
Photo: Ton Kastermans

Forum (CGF) and the major egg associations worldwide. This is supported by ongoing communications with the World Health Organisation (WHO), UN and World Wildlife Fund (WWF) to address a range of sustainability issues.

This latest announcement, which took place at the International Egg Commission’s annual Global Leadership conference in Kyoto, Japan, also marks the launch of the egg industry’s Global Initiative for Sustainable Eggs (GISE), which will support a range of ambitious sustainability objectives – helping to deliver the organisation’s vision of continuous improvement.

These cover:

• Preventing the diseases of animals affecting humans

• Improving nutrition

• The elimination of forced labour

• Environmental sustainability – the prevention of deforestation through the sustainable sourcing of soy

• Working to ensure the responsible use of antimicrobials

• Working to improve animal welfare

Tim Lambert, WEO chairman, said Kyoto was the perfect location for the sustainable development announcement, having been home to a number of historic agreements.

“The UN’s Agenda for Sustainable Development calls on us collectively, to initiate efforts to achieve the 17 SDG’s over the next 12 years. The global egg industry is absolutely committed to the cause.

“Society wants reassurance that companies are actively engaged with their customers and communities. Businesses have an inherent responsibility to do the right thing, for the right reasons. Through our own clearly defined coals, the egg industry is addressing the needs of people in both developed and developing countries – socially, economically and environmentally.”

3 comments

  • Sonia Mountford

    Does anyone know when the OIE Global Standards for Laying Hens is to be completed by? I am truly hoping that it is not merely based on the five freedoms and that the connection between the avian flu crisis and industrialised caged systems is transparently addressed. Meaningful and authentic change needs to occur in this sector, particularly if eggs are being marketed as healthy - pasture-raised eggs contain higher levels of Vitamin D for example, will the nutrition vs the production system be looked into?

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