Survey gives industry ideas

By Country News

A survey canvassing the views of thousands of Australians about the egg industry has found that while the industry is viewed positively by the public, it also faces key challenges in developing deeper levels of trust with the Australian people.

The survey was commissioned by Australian Eggs, the industry’s research body, and developed and delivered by the CSIRO.

The aim of the consultation was to help the egg industry gain an understanding of community sentiment, with the ultimate goal of developing a sustainability framework to help future-proof the nation’s egg industry.

Delivering the report to Australian Eggs, CSIRO senior research scientist Kieren Moffat said the report showed positive views about eggs as a household staple were matched by a strong concern for the welfare of the hens that laid them.

‘‘Australians believe the agriculture sector is important to our way of life,’’ Dr Moffat said.

‘‘Eggs were seen to be an affordable, nutritious staple in the national diet with around 75percent of respondents agreeing or strongly agreeing with the statement.

‘‘Yet the industry faces real and important challenges to maintain this level of acceptance and support.’’

The report shows hen welfare is very important to Australians, with about 80percent of respondents agreeing or strongly agreeing that hens should be well cared for.

The report also makes it clear that more needs to be done to help the community understand the industry.

‘‘In analysing the data, we observed quite a number of not-sure responses around issues such as the industry’s environmental impacts, some hen welfare items and the economics of the industry,’’ Dr Moffat said.

‘‘This indicates there is work to do to help the community better understand important parts of the egg supply chain in Australia.’’

Commenting on the report, Australian Eggs managing director Rowan McMonnies said the findings of the survey would be invaluable in helping to develop a sustainable future for the egg industry.

The survey will be repeated annually over a three-year period to enable Australian Eggs to benchmark progress.