UEP Area Briefings look to the future

August 27, 2020

There was record attendance at the four Area Briefings held on August 18-19 with the virtual format allowing more members and industry stakeholders to participate. UEP staff presented valuable information on current and future UEP initiatives.

UEP President and CEO Chad Gregory unveiled UEP’s Strategic Priorities for the next five years. “Every organization needs a vision for the future. It is vitally important for UEP farmer-members to lead egg production through COVID-19, but also plan for the future when the pandemic is over,” said Gregory.  Below are the 2020-2025 strategic priorities identified at the planning roundtable in March, reviewed by members, and approved by the Board.

Gregory updated attendees on the work being done by the U.S. Roundtable for Sustainable Poultry & Egg (US-RSPE). He and several UEP members are active members of the framework committee, along with Dr. Mickey Rubin from AEB. Gregory will be asking UEP committee members to review the metrics for the “people, planet and poultry” pillars developed by the US-RSPE Framework Committee.

The framework is scheduled for completion at the end of 2021. UEP is a founding member of this organization, and Gregory continues to encourage members to join and provide input into US-RSPE’s sustainability plan.

Area Briefings Presenters (L to R) Chad Gregory, Oscar Garrison, Dr. Larry Sadler

Oscar Garrison, SVP of food safety regulatory affairs, provided an update on COVID-19 issues affecting egg production. UEP’s staff and Washington team continue to stay in close contact with regulatory agencies and advocate for egg producers.  Recent developments are the addition of eggs to USDA’s Farmers to Families Food Box Program and the eligibility of further processors for payments under the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (see article on page 4). Garrison encouraged attendees to visit UEP’s Resource Library for the latest COVID-19 regulatory updates.

Garrison also presented information on UEP’s new Food Safety Advisory Council and an update on the USDA Agriculture Research Service study on Salmonella Braenderup.

Dr. Larry Sadler, VP of animal welfare, gave an overview of state law updates on cage-free housing and the status of UEP Certified desk audits.  He also presented the Animal Welfare organizational chart showing all committees and subcommittees.

In another important update, Sadler discussed the improvements to the cage-free tour videos. The videos are now easily accessible for download and offline viewing following a software update. Multiple users can view the videos from different locations. These tours are available to UEP members on a password-protected webpage or flash drive. Email lsadler@unitedegg.com for access information.