International egg industry pledges to help feed the world

Friday 12th October is World Egg Day, and this year, the international egg industry is using the event to really make a difference. With the support of the International Egg Commission (IEC) and egg associations around the world, the egg industry has pledged to help feed the underfed and undernourished; to provide a sustainable, affordable, high quality food supply to people across the planet.

As part of the global egg industry’s commitment to helping those in need, the IEC is starting to work with the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO). The FAO is dedicated to making sure that people throughout the world have regular access to high quality food, and eggs can play an integral role in achieving this.

World Egg Day was established in 1996, by the IEC. IEC Chairman, Joanne Ivy, explained: “Since 1996 events have been held all around the world celebrating the egg and the vital role it plays in people’s diets right across the globe. As an industry we feel very privileged to be producing a product that can benefit so many people throughout the world, so this year on World Egg Day, we are publicly pledging to work with food organisations and developing nations to help provide access to eggs for everyone.

“We are fully committed to our industry’s corporate and social responsibilities, and we are delighted to be working alongside the Food and Agriculture Organisation, being able to support it in its work to provide high quality food for all.”

It is estimated that across the world, one billion people are currently underfed and undernourished, and that during the next 40 years, the population will increase by further 3 billion people.

Eggs have the power to feed the world’s growing population – as well as being an excellent source of high quality protein, containing the essential vitamins and minerals required for a healthy diet, eggs are an affordable and readily available source of food throughout most of the world, and have the added advantage of having a low carbon footprint.

This year on World Egg Day events will take place all around the world, from New Zealand, to Mongolia, South Africa to Canada; there will be festivals, competitions, nutritional talks and cooking demonstrations in city squares, shopping centres, community centres and schools throughout the world. As the world joins together to celebrate this exceptional food, what nutritionists have referred to as “a mineral cocktail” and “nature’s vitamin pill”, make sure that your organisation gets involved – let’s get cracking and celebrate World Egg Day, Friday 12th October.

A recent study reveals that profits from egg businesses are being used to fund community and environmental projects around the globe.? These include setting up schools inMozambiqueandZimbabwe; a remarkable environmental building inRotterdamin theNetherlands, which is working to neutralise the CO2 emissions of employees? cars; a forest improvement project inJapan; and the Hawke?s Bay Community Trust inNew Zealand, which promotes biodynamic and organic production.? In addition to this, during the past 12 months, over 22 million eggs have been donated to food banks, charities and schools around the world, helping to feed the hungry and underprivileged.

The study, carried out by the International Egg Commission (IEC), has revealed that egg farmers around the world are joining together and increasing their commitment to provide a high quality food product to help feed the world?s increasing population, while caring for the environment, and the underprivileged throughout the world. ?During the past year members of the IEC have donated the equivalent of over 7 million US dollars, and a staggering 22,340,000 eggs to help people throughout the world, in a wide range of projects including:

  • In North America, the US and Canada donate millions of eggs every year to national and international food banks; during the last 12 months, over 15 million eggs were donated by the US alone.
  • The national egg industries inMexico,ColumbiaandBarbadosall regularly donate eggs to their national children?s hospitals and schools.
  • A privately owned Danish egg company has a particularly comprehensive corporate social responsibility plan.? In addition to creating a green building in the centre ofRotterdam, it has also partnered with Save the Children and has set up football schools to benefit children inSierra Leone, a country with one of highest child mortality rates and lowest life spans.
  • An American based egg company has set up a new egg business inMozambiqueto help bring modern agriculture practice and ultimately economic viability to the country.? This is an extremely ambitious project;Mozambiquecurrently has to import eggs for resale, but the aim of this project is to enable the country to produce its own eggs, providing a sustainable food source for the nation.? As well as providing the nutritious, sustainable food source, the company is also donating all the profits generated by this new business to set up schools and other community projects inMozambique.

Joanne Ivy, Chair of the IEC explains:? ?At the IEC we are fully committed to our industry?s corporate and social responsibilities, and we feel very privileged to be producing a product that can benefit so many people throughout the world.? The IEC has members in countries across the world, and I am delighted that between us all we have been able to provide support to over 108 charitable causes in 48 countries, in North America, South America, Africa, Europe, Oceania andAsia.

?As well as our commitment to the environment, and helping people in the world less fortunate than ourselves, as an industry we are always looking for ways to progress and invest in our laying hens.? In the US, Europe, Asia & Latin America egg businesses are currently investing heavily, making welfare improvements and complying with new legislations.? When all of these improvements have been completed, we estimate that within theUSandEuropecombined, we will have invested the equivalent of 1.1 billion US dollars.?

On Friday 14th October, members of the egg industry will hold festivals and competitions around the world to celebrate World Egg Day.? This year, as well celebrating the health benefits and versatility of the egg, let us also take a moment to celebrate the world?s egg farmers and international egg industry, as it continues to support the hungry and the underprivileged.