State of the Union

January 9, 2020

By Chad Gregory, President and CEO

Both opportunity and uncertainty played a role in defining the state of the U.S. egg industry in 2019.  In each, UEP leveraged its expertise and relationships to provide much needed leadership and direction for the industry. UEP has an amazing and highly competent Board of Directors, as well as numerous committees that reviewed, debated and managed many specific and timely concerns. To those that served in 2019 – thank you for your time, expertise, passion and dedication. UEP truly is “leadership by egg farmers for egg farmers.”

The lengthy list below represents milestones in 2019. It’s always surprising to look back at all that has happened in just 12 short months.  When you’re dealing with hour by hour, day by day issues…sometimes it’s hard to see the forest for the trees.

  • Despite all the challenges, UEP’s membership remained STRONG, representing 290 million hens
  • UEA Further Processors represented an estimated 90% of the egg products industry
  • UEA Allied membership grew to more than 100 diverse companies

  • The UEP Certified Portal went live, minimizing time and paperwork and increasing accuracy
  • UEP mourned the passing of Arthur Papetti, Bob Rehm, Ken Looper, Tony Cobarrubia, Emanuel Puglisi and other industry leaders
  • UEP held a productive and successful Annual Legislative Meeting, presenting four critical position papers to Congressional representatives and senators
  • UEP’s Animal Health and Biosecurity Taskforce became a standing UEP Committee

  • UEP became a founding member of the U.S. Roundtable for Sustainable Poultry and Eggs
  • Area Briefings concentrated on WGS testing, plant sanitation and egg safety
  • The Annual Executive Conference, held at The Greenbrier, focused on emerging and ongoing industry issues: Food Testing and Safety, Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainability, and In-Ovo Sexing
  • UEP’s requests to USDA led the agency to purchase $40 million worth of shell eggs and egg products under the trade mitigation and Section 32 purchase programs
  • UEP and USPoultry hosted a webinar on AMS’s sanitation requirement changes

  • USPoultry shared the latest Egg Economic Impact report – 112,470 jobs, $6.3 billion in wages, $29.2 billion in total economic impact
  • UEP continues to work with an outstanding group of consultants: Hinda Mitchell (Inspire PR), Tom Hebert (Bayard Ridge Group LLC), Randy Green (Watson, Green LLC), Louie Perry (Cornerstone Government Affairs), Chris Ondeck (Proskauer)
  • UEP staff represented the industry, attending and speaking at countless conferences
  • Once again, UEP staff managed dues and all UEP finances with accountability and fiscal responsibility
  • UEP, the UEP Certified Program and the industry were completely vindicated in the egg antitrust trial

A very wise person once said, “the days are long, but the years are short.”  Let’s not lose sight of where we’ve been and what’s happened, but let’s apply these experiences to help lead the way to a more certain and bright future.