The World Egg Organisation (WEO) has announced the global egg industry’s pledge to work in partnership with the United Nations to fulfill its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The announcement was made at the International Egg Commission‘s Global Leadership Conference September 12.
The UN’s SDGs represent a shared vision to eradicate poverty and social inequality, and to tackle climate change by 2030. A social contract between the world’s leaders, the successful delivery of this ambitious blueprint is dependent on engagement and participation from international industry.
WEO chairman Tim Lambert said in a release that the global egg industry is “absolutely committed” to the UN’s Agenda for Sustainable Development.
The WEO has outlined key areas where it is delivering positive outcomes in line with the UN’s targets. Of the UN’s 17 goals to transform our world, the WEO has identified six primary objectives where the egg industry is already making a significant impact through a range of dedicated sustainability initiatives. These specifically address the following goals:
Eggs are a sustainable, affordable source of the highest quality protein for everyone. Through its charitable work, the International Egg Foundation (IEF) is tackling food poverty experienced in developing countries, such as Swaziland and Uganda, through an ever-broadening range of community-based programmes.
Good Health and Wellbeing
Eggs fulfil numerous nutritional requirements and the industry is dedicated to educating the world about the positive benefits that this natural resource delivers as part of a balance diet.
Egg consumption supports brain development and concentration, particularly in young children. Additionally the IEF is responsible in its role as educational trustee for initiatives in Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Swaziland, providing resources that enable communities to become successful egg producers.
Responsible Consumption and Production
The WOE feels building trust and transparency in our food supply chains is essential. To help overcome the threat of Avian Influenza the global egg industry has published its biosecurity recommendations. Secondly, the issue of animal welfare is driving the operations of all international egg industry producers and country associations. This is evident in the WEO’s role supporting the OIE in establishing a framework of Global Standards for Laying Hens.
The egg industry strives to continually reduce the resources it uses whilst ensuring the same output. Best commercial practice regarding sustainable intensification is regularly shared throughout the industry’s member organizations.
Partnerships for the Goals
The WEO says collectively managing the future of our planet and its inhabitants is vital to the success of the sustainability agenda, and there is a need for international discourse, interaction and unified policy making. The WEO recognizes the need to be proactive and accountable. To this end, the organization continues to develop constructive relationships with the OIE, CGF and the major egg associations worldwide and its leading companies. This is supported by ongoing communication with the WHO, UN and WWF to address a range of sustainability issues.
This latest announcement marks the launch of the egg industry’s Global Initiative for Sustainable Eggs (GISE) which will support a range of ambitious sustainability objectives – helping to deliver the organization’s vision of continuous improvement. These cover the following industry specific criteria:
•Preventing the diseases of animals becoming the diseases of human kind
•The elimination of forced labour
•Environmental sustainability – the prevention of deforestation through the sustainable sourcing of soy
•Working to ensure the responsible use of antimicrobials
•Working to improve animal welfare
“Society wants reassurance that companies are actively engaged with their customers and communities. Businesses have an inherent responsibility to do the right thing, for the right reasons,” says Lambert. “Through our own clearly defined goals, the egg industry is addressing the needs of people in both developed and developing countries – socially, economically and environmentally.”