Significant updates at UEP Area Briefings

August 26, 2021

More than 300 participants attended the Area Briefings held in four virtual sessions on August 17 and 18. UEP staff presented valuable information on current and future UEP initiatives. Each briefing started with opening comments by the Area Chairs.

President and CEO Chad Gregory shared the significant progress made on UEP’s Strategic Priorities. The “Team Egg,” established under the Industry Collaboration & Communications priority, holds quarterly meetings to collaborate on issues and solutions. To further strengthen industry relations, UEP and the American Egg Board (AEB) will hold a joint Annual Conference in October 2022. Under Sustainability, a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is underway in collaboration with the Egg Industry Center and AEB. The U.S. Roundtable for Sustainable Poultry & Egg (US-RSPE) will release its reporting framework later this year, enabling producers to define and share sustainability achievements.

Based on the Government Affairs task force’s recommendation, EGGPAC recurring monthly and one-time automatic contribution options are now available. The Government Relations Committee's top priorities and EGGPAC initiatives are discussed during all Government Relations committee meetings.  Priorities are Immigration & Labor, Truthful Labeling, Climate Policy, Animal Disease Indemnities, and Capper-Volstead Clarification. The Market Transparency taskforce has completed vast research and is evaluating options. Task force members will present findings at UEP’s October Board meeting.

Dr. Larry Sadler, VP of animal welfare, shared UEP Certified Program updates and provided the expert qualifications of the three new members of the Scientific Advisory Committee. He reviewed current organic issues, presented information on the work completed by the Fire Mitigation task force and reviewed state law updates on cage-free housing.

Oscar Garrison, SVP of food safety regulatory affairs, spoke about USDA’s new COVID policy to protect inspectors. For more details read FSIS requires masking policies in official plants on page five. He gave an overview of the FDA and USDA quarterly meetings on issues of importance to the U.S. egg industry and reviewed the comments from UEA Further Processors to the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) on proposed rules related to Proposition 12 and the need for additional clarity. See CDFA Public Hearing on August 27 on page 4.  Garrison also announced the addition of two new Agriculture Marketing Service egg processing facility sanitation training modules.

American Egg Board President and CEO Emily Metz presented the status of its 2021 marketing programs and spoke about the Egg Innovation Center, which will bring new ideas to the industry and connect with partners and customers to bring these ideas to market. Metz introduced Hema Prado, AEB’s Director of Sustainability, emphasized the importance of the life cycle assessment, and reviewed the latest outreach and research from the Egg Nutrition Center.