Sustainable egg production

19-10-2015 | | |
Ben Dellaert
Ben Dellaert

If there is any industry in the world that knows how to efficiently produce animal protein it is the poultry and egg sector. Eggs in particular are not only nutritious, they are produced using the fewest of resources. Yet there are two reasons to increase our focus on sustainable egg production.

The first and foremost is the fact that we know we are doing an excellent job, but there are many opportunities left untapped to communicate this to the broader public. The second reason to put greater emphasis on sustainable egg production is that every industry should continually challenge itself to improve.

This is why the International Egg Commissions Leadership Board gave the green light to launch a Global Round Table for Sustainable Egg Production. In the process that led up to this decision, we have had intensive discussions with WWF’s Vice President of Food Sustainability, Carlos Saviani, to set the outline of the initiative. But this is just the start. This round table will follow the example of the Beef Industry: the Global Round Table for Sustainable Beef, a multi-stakeholder initiative with representation across the value chain.

The goal of the egg initiative is to achieve production that is environmentally sound, socially responsible and economically viable – achieved by continuous improvement in sustainability, through leadership, science, multi-stakeholder engagement and collaboration. Everyone has to be engaged in the process. The concept is to develop principles and objective criteria to define sustainable production. These then can be used by national or country round tables to benchmark their national initiatives. Possible principles that can be taken into account for the Global Round Table for Sustainable Egg Production (GRSE) are animal health, human health, the environment, natural resources and animal welfare. We have a truly fantastic industry and there is a great opportunity to first define and then communicate sustainable production.

Ben Dellaert Chairman of the International Egg Commision (IEC)