This year on World Egg Day, Friday 11th October, the International Egg Commission (IEC), a non-governmental organisation that represents the egg industry globally, is getting serious about world hunger.
The IEC has been working with the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) to help governments and egg producers in nine Southern African countries share information and gain valuable practical advice and support about the nutritional value of eggs, as well as technical advice about egg production and disease management.
Julian Madeley, director general at the IEC, explained: “It’s estimated that in the world today, a billion people are underfed and undernourished, and this is going to get even worse over the next 40 years, as the global population is set to increase by another 3 billion people.
“This is unacceptable to everybody, and on behalf of the entire egg industry, the IEC is committed to doing what we can to help prevent hunger. Eggs have an important role to play in this; as well as being an excellent source of high quality protein, containing the essential vitamins and minerals needed for a healthy diet, they are an affordable and readily available source of food throughout most of the world. We are committed to working with the FAO to help eliminate hunger, food insecurity and malnutrition.”
In September, ahead of this year’s World Egg Day, the IEC and FAO co-hosted a seminar in Lusaka, capital city of Zambia. Government representatives, veterinarians and egg producers from Angola, Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe, were joined by IEC members from Australia, Canada, South Africa and the U.S.A. Delegates discussed the latest challenges their individual countries are facing, and shared information and practical advice about ways to increase egg production and ultimately increase consumption in their region.
The seminar in Lusaka was the first initiative of this kind between the IEC and FAO; the response has been extremely positive, and the two organisations are now hoping to generate enough support to enable them to roll out a programme of similar seminars in other regions of the world.