Record crowd at UEP annual conference

October 27, 2016

More than 365 egg producers and industry allies – a record crowd – attended the 2016 UEP Annual Board Meeting and Executive Conference in Miami Beach, October 17-20. Adding to the large crowd of UEP members and their spouses, 80 companies were represented through UEA Allied and UEP Further Processors.

In the opening session on Tuesday, October 18, UEP President and CEO Chad Gregory welcomed the crowd from a stage made famous by movies and entertainers like Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra and Whitney Houston.

“The Fontainebleau has an amazing history of celebrating and partying,” Gregory stated. “We don’t have the luxury to celebrate – we have a lot of work to do. We need to roll up our sleeves and get serious work done. Those in the room are the voice of the U.S. egg industry that will guide us forward.” Throughout the three-day conference, UEP members did just that – participating in committee briefings and engaging openly, which culminated in agreement for proactive steps to move forward amidst current challenges.

In Tuesday’s “Hot Topics” session, six engaging speakers presented diverse perspectives and experiences, and they provided context and food for thought as the egg industry faces transitional challenges related to hen housing. A common thread among the talks was the need for open dialogue with consumers, customers and other stakeholders. The “Hot Topics” presenters included:

  • Bob Langert, Editor at Large of Green Biz Group, Retired McDonald’s Vice President of Sustainability
  • John Campbell, Owner of one of Scotland/UK’s largest egg farms
  • James Kellaway, Formerly of the Australian Egg Corporation
  • Vance Crowe, Director of Millennial Engagement, Monsanto
  • Matt Sutton-Vermeulen, Principal Partner, Context Network
  • Carlos Saviani, Vice-President of Sustainability, World Wildlife Fund

During the conference, the following UEP committees held briefings related to key progress and future plans.

  • Government Relations
  • Organic
  • Information Sharing
  • Animal Welfare
  • Public Relations
  • Environment
  • Biosecurity Taskforce
  • Food Safety

In conclusion on Thursday morning, UEP conducted its Annual Membership Meeting, where the 2016-17 Board of Directors were announced. During the Board of Directors Meeting immediately following, the Board acted upon several motions brought forth by various committees and discussed future direction to be taken by UEP staff and consultants.