Egg producers: Create your individual sustainability stories

March 24, 2021

Photo by Andrea Gantz
Published by Watt BY DEVEN KING ON MARCH 23, 2021

Sustainability has been a popular topic and one that is not going to go away. That is why both the American Egg Board (AEB) and the United Egg Producers (UEP) have made it a priority to work together on the subject as well as listing it on their organizations' strategic priorities over the next five years.

Together they will be creating a framework in great detail to help producers tell their sustainability story. Testing and programs that producers are already familiar with will be included. This will allow the producers to follow the framework and attain it.

During the AEB nutrition committee meeting held on March 15, 2021, Chad Gregory, president and CEO of the UEP, shared that egg producers have a unique story to share within the protein sector.

Gregory explained that he believes the egg industry’s sustainability message is going to be great. He referenced the 13 sustainability indicators, which fall under the areas of people, the planet and poultry, and have been identified as part of the framework. He explained that the egg industry is already well-positioned within those pillars.

"I hate to even say it, but compared to the other species in animal ag, our message in these 13 areas is spectacular. This is a real opportunity for the egg industry and egg producers to shine with our customers, NGO's, media and so forth with the egg industry sustainability versus other protein sources," Gregory said.

He expressed excitement in his belief that the conversation on cage-free or other topics is now going to shift and be about sustainability and all the things that fall under that.

Emily Metz, president and CEO of the AEB, agreed. "This is a huge focus in our new strategic plan. We're very appreciative to be able to work with UEP on this and work collaboratively towards this goal. … This is a journey, not a destination so we are not going to get there overnight but AEB is going to work to get those proof points and data that we need to be able to talk to customers and consumers about all the good things the egg industry is doing when it comes to sustainability," said Metz.

She further explained that sustainability is becoming increasingly important. Customers are labeling around the topic and carbon footprint and energy usage are becoming differentiators in the marketplace.

"We are going to need to be prepared to talk on those issues," Metz said.

Helping producers do so is the goal of both the UEP and the AEB.