HISTORY OF UNITED EGG PRODUCERS

Established in 1968, UEP has grown to represent more than 90 percent of eggs produced in the U.S.

2018: CELEBRATING 50 YEARS STRONG

Since 1968, UEP has worked at the direction of its farmer-members to deliver the best possible environment for egg farms to grow and prosper. UEP and U.S. egg farmers work diligently to advance high standards for egg safety, environmental responsibility and hen well-being while producing a nutritious, affordable supply of eggs.

United Egg Producers was established in 1968 as a federated Capper-Volstead Agriculture Cooperative comprised of five regional marketing cooperatives. As members of their regional cooperative, individual egg producers then became members of the national organization, UEP. This year the organization is celebrating 50 years of “Leadership by Egg Farmers for Egg Farmers.”   View UEP’s 50th Anniversary history book and video below.


ACHIEVING MILESTONES

Some of the notable milestones driven by leadership of UEP and its farmer-members include:

  • Sponsoring legislation to create the American Egg Board (AEB) to promote the benefits of eggs
  • Establishing the Egg Nutrition Center, a credible research, science and education division of AEB
  • Establishing two committees for continuous improvement in animal welfare, a producer committee (1982) and the Scientific Advisory Committee (1999)
  • Leading in standards for hen well-being with the launch of UEP Certified (2002) and UEP Certified Cage-Free (2006)
  • Providing leadership to develop food safety programs and decrease risk of food-borne illnesses
  • Educating and supporting commercial egg farmers in compliance with the 2010 Egg Safety Final Rule and all other regulations
  • Advocating for science-based, sustainable legislation, federal and state, related to hen housing
  • Supporting various research initiatives on food safety and hen well-being, such as the Coalition for Sustainable Egg Supply.
  • Providing leadership through the 2015 Avian Influenza crisis, to minimize disease spread and support recovery
  • Facilitating effective dialogue about transition in hen housing
  • Enhancing biosecurity and disease prevention through a UEP task force and collaboration with various stakeholders
  • Continuing to advocate for egg farmers through a government relations team in Washington, D.C.

UEP: EVOLVING WITH EGG FARMS

Egg farming changed considerably, with flocks getting larger as research and automation helped improve hen care, health and productivity. UEP leaders felt the organization could be streamlined to more efficiently and effectively meet farmers’ changing needs. In 1998 the five regional offices consolidated services into one national organization headquartered in Atlanta, and a by-law change allowed individual egg farmers to be direct members of the national group. As a result, egg farmers could provide greater input into initiatives and policy, UEP membership grew, and producers became highly engaged in national leadership.

Recognizing the need for representation for organizations affiliated with egg production, UEP formed the United Egg Association (UEA) in 1983. Expanded in 1995, UEA serves as a national trade association representing three distinct segments of the U.S. egg industry – further processors, allied members, and producers and packers.