Sur­vey gives in­dus­try ideas

Shepparton News - Country News - - EUROA SHOW 2018 -

A sur­vey can­vass­ing the views of thou­sands of Aus­tralians about the egg in­dus­try has found that while the in­dus­try is viewed pos­i­tively by the pub­lic, it also faces key chal­lenges in de­vel­op­ing deeper lev­els of trust with the Aus­tralian peo­ple.

The sur­vey was com­mis­sioned by Aus­tralian Eggs, the in­dus­try’s re­search body, and de­vel­oped and de­liv­ered by the CSIRO.

The aim of the con­sul­ta­tion was to help the egg in­dus­try gain an un­der­stand­ing of com­mu­nity sen­ti­ment, with the ul­ti­mate goal of de­vel­op­ing a sus­tain­abil­ity frame­work to help fu­ture-proof the na­tion’s egg in­dus­try.

De­liv­er­ing the re­port to Aus­tralian Eggs, CSIRO se­nior re­search sci­en­tist Kieren Mof­fat said the re­port showed pos­i­tive views about eggs as a house­hold sta­ple were matched by a strong con­cern for the wel­fare of the hens that laid them.

‘‘Aus­tralians be­lieve the agri­cul­ture sec­tor is im­por­tant to our way of life,’’ Dr Mof­fat said.

‘‘Eggs were seen to be an af­ford­able, nu­tri­tious sta­ple in the na­tional diet with around 75 per cent of re­spon­dents agree­ing or strongly agree­ing with the state­ment.

‘‘Yet the in­dus­try faces real and im­por­tant chal­lenges to main­tain this level of ac­cep­tance and sup­port.’’

The re­port shows hen wel­fare is very im­por­tant to Aus­tralians, with about 80 per cent of re­spon­dents agree­ing or strongly agree­ing that hens should be well cared for.

The re­port also makes it clear that more needs to be done to help the com­mu­nity un­der­stand the in­dus­try.

‘‘In analysing the data, we ob­served quite a number of not-sure re­sponses around is­sues such as the in­dus­try’s en­vi­ron­men­tal In­dus­try chal­lenge . . . Aus­tralians are con­cerned about the wel­fare of hens. im­pacts, some hen wel­fare items and the eco­nom­ics of the in­dus­try,’’ Dr Mof­fat said.

‘‘This in­di­cates there is work to do to help the com­mu­nity bet­ter un­der­stand im­por­tant parts of the egg sup­ply chain in Aus­tralia.’’

Com­ment­ing on the re­port, Aus­tralian Eggs man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Rowan McMon­nies said the find­ings of the sur­vey would be in­valu­able in help­ing to de­velop a sus­tain­able fu­ture for the egg in­dus­try.

The sur­vey will be re­peated an­nu­ally over a three-year pe­riod to en­able Aus­tralian Eggs to bench­mark progress.

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