Australians are being invited to take part in an extensive nationwide research program developed to better understand public attitudes towards the egg industry.
The research is being conducted by social scientists at Australia’s national science agency, CSIRO, to provide egg farmers with a deeper understanding of community sentiment and measure the impact of industry responsiveness on key sustainability issues such as food security, animal welfare and environmental impacts.
CSIRO senior research scientist Kieren Moffat said this year’s work would build on the 2018 and 2019 findings to allow year-on-year comparisons and provide insight into shifts in community attitudes and priorities over that time.
“Relationships between industries and community are complex and take time to change and build,” Dr Moffat said.
“We know Australians eat a huge number of eggs but we also know that the way those eggs are produced is an issue people care deeply about.
“We’re offering all Australians the chance to have their say through an open survey, and the data we collect will be analysed and reported back to Australian Eggs as the public view.
“In particular, this year, we will be looking to track the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on public views around food supply systems, food security and food access.”
Australian Eggs managing director Rowan McMonnies said previous insights from the CSIRO’s research had formed the basis for some crucial changes across the egg industry.
“We learned last year that environmental impact has emerged as an even stronger area of interest for Australians and, as a result, we funded a suite of new research projects to identify how and where the industry can lower its environmental footprint,” Mr McMonnies said.
“This included feed efficiency improvements, new waste management technologies and online tools to help egg producers assess the viability of solar on their farm.
“Previous research also showed that food security is a major priority for the community and the egg industry responded by ramping up biosecurity efforts.
“The benefits of that can be seen right now as the strict biosecurity measures put in place have helped protect farm workers from COVID-19 and ensure continuity of egg supply.”
The research is the third annual cycle of community engagement to inform the Australian Egg Industry Sustainability Framework.
The survey closes on Friday, June 5. To participate, visit: research.csiro.au/eggs