NEW data from Australia’s national science agency CSIRO reveals the level of acceptance and trust in the egg industry by the Australian public has increased since 2018.
The CSIRO research is based on a representative sample of over 5630 Australians and is part of the second annual cycle of community engagement to inform the Australian Egg Industry Sustainability Framework.
The aim of the research is to provide the egg industry with a deeper understanding of community sentiment and measure the impact of engagement and responsiveness by the industry on key sustainability issues. Lead scientist Dr Kieren Moffat said, “Our main goals this year were to evaluate any change in community sentiment and explore in more detail issues that were identified last year as important to the Australian community.”
“The data showed a positive shift in people’s perceptions of environmental impact, an area unclear to many respondents in 2018 despite being a key focus area for the egg industry’s Sustainability Framework. “There was a substantial increase in the number of Australians who felt egg farming has a lower impact on the environment than other industries (76 percent compared to 66 percent last year) and those who believe egg farming is a good use of land (77 percent compared to 73 percent last year).
“Hen welfare continues to be an important topic for Australians, with 77 percent of respondents stating more needs to be done to improve the living conditions of hens.
“However, only 57 percent of the respondents agreed that egg prices would need to rise for this improvement in welfare to happen.”
Australian Eggs managing director Rowan McMonnies said, “Running a transparent community engagement process is not for the faint-hearted and we wanted to see if the efforts made by the industry would cut through.”
“It feels like we are on the right track and egg farmers are starting to see the real value of increasing their engagement with the public. “The CSIRO results indicate the process is valued by the community, providing egg farmers with additional motivation to continue the good work they are doing in addressing industry challenges.”
Now in its second year, this survey is a three-year research project aimed at enhancing livelihoods, improving community and animal wellbeing, reducing environmental impact and ensuring the economic sustainability of the egg industry.