UEP members introduce sustainability plans

April 8, 2021

As UEP moves forward in its work with the U.S. Roundtable for Sustainable Poultry and Eggs (USRSPE), it is important for egg producers and the egg industry to issue “Sustainability Reports.”  Sustainability reporting is an overview of a company’s economic, environmental and social impacts resulting from its everyday activities. This reporting can help organizations measure, understand and communicate their sustainability performance, and then set goals, and manage change more effectively. This type of reporting’s value lies in the awareness it can create in an organization about how its operations affect its sustainability and helps provide the transparency that society is looking for from business entities that claim to be tackling these issues.

U.S. egg producers have a tremendous sustainability story. One of the reasons UEP is involved in the US-RSPE is because its emphasis on sustainability reporting will help egg producers tell this story, benefitting their companies and the entire egg industry.

In the last several months Cal-Maine Foods, Herbruck’s Poultry Ranch, and Cooper Farms have issued reports. Undertaking substantive sustainability initiatives in any large organization takes a good deal of time, effort, resources and commitment. All three of these reports provide extensive coverage of a wide range of sustainability efforts.

When Cal-Maine’s 2019 report was issued last June, Dolph Baker said that an integral part of its growth strategy “has been an emphasis on our environmental and social responsibility with a strong commitment to support the communities where we operate” and that going forward it will “continue to evaluate our operations in line with our sustainability objectives, and we look forward to sharing our ongoing progress.”  When its 2020 report was issued in February, Greg Herbruck said that, “Our values for sustainability drive Herbruck’s forward, serving as a roadmap that guides our business decisions to ensure we treat our birds, our employees, the environment and the communities we call home with respect.” Gary Cooper was excited that the report reveals intangibles about all of the steps Cooper Farms is taking “to make the land better for the future than the way we found it.”