Australian Eggs, an industry research body, reports that while there are an extra 800 million eggs produced each year compared to 20 years ago, the sector is improving in terms of the environment, hen welfare, food security and rural livelihoods.
The Sustainability Framework Report 2020, compiled by CSIRO researchers, shows that the industry cut grain use by 42,000 tonnes and saved 30,000 tonnes of carbon emissions.
The report also noted advancements including biosecurity improvements through virtual reality training, a solar feasibility tool and waste management technology that converts manure into organic fertiliser.
“Eggs are in 95 per cent of Australian households and are a staple in the national diet. While eggs already have a low carbon footprint relative to other farming industries, the CSIRO’s community research showed us that Australians expect to see all industries reducing their impacts over time,” Rowan McMonnies, managing director of Australian Eggs, said.
“Productivity improvements in the egg industry have coincided with a lowering of an already small environmental footprint through better genetics, improved farm management, uptake of on-farm solar and new waste management technologies.”
Australian Eggs trained egg farmers in new skills to raise standard in animal husbandry and created a risk assessment tool so farmers can stay profitable.
“We’re making these improvements because they’re the right thing to do but it was pleasing to see in the CSIRO’s community research report that trust in the egg industry increased over the last year,” said McMonnies.
The 2020 Sustainability Framework Report completes the second annual cycle of a three year program with Australians.