Australians are being invited to take part in a large-scale research study to inform a national conversation about the egg industry. The research is being conducted by engagement science company Voconiq – spun out of Australia’s national science agency CSIRO in 2019 – and will explore community attitudes towards the egg industry across a broad range of topics including food security, biosecurity, traceability, animal welfare and environmental impacts.
Voconiq chief executive officer Dr Kieren Moffat said this fourth year of research would build on the previous CSIRO findings from 2018 to 2020 to understand the community’s changing views. “More than 27,000 Australians have contributed to the research program over the past three years, providing a deeper understanding on what the community values in and from the egg industry,” Dr Moffat said.
“We know that hen welfare arouses strong feelings among many people and that has been a focus of the research to date, but we’ve also found that the community is very interested in how Australia’s eggs are produced and how safe they are, especially since the pandemic.”
“We encourage Australians who want to have a voice on issues related to the egg industry to take part in the public open survey, as the data collected will be shared with Australian Eggs to action a response.”
Australian Eggs managing director Rowan McMonnies said that the community’s insights are instrumental as they help shape industry plans. “Australians consume 17 million eggs every day, so it’s important for the industry to understand and respond to community concerns to continue to maintain trust,” Mr McMonnies said.
“Previous research has shown that concerns around the egg industry’s environmental footprint, food safety standards and hen welfare have become more prominent, so the industry has addressed this by developing new tools and research projects.
“Just recently, we launched a sustainability dashboard to help farmers assess their farm and business practices, and we are currently undertaking a comprehensive carbon footprint assessment to develop a framework to move the industry towards carbon neutrality.
“Further to this, a bio security virtual reality tool was created to improve on-farm biosecurity practices, and the industry is looking into new technologies to improve the traceability of eggs for maintaining food safety standards and to expand the capacity of egg farms to monitor hen welfare.”
The research is the fourth annual cycle of community engagement to inform the Australian Eggs sustainability framework. To participate in the research, go to voconiq.com/eggs
The survey closes on Sunday June 27, 2021.