More eggs, lower emissions — cracking report released
A laying hen today lays 38 more eggs per year than a hen did 20 years ago, and it does so despite consuming 5% less feed. That equals an extra 800 million eggs each year across Australia’s national flock, produced with 42,000 tonnes less grain and an emissions saving of 30,000 tonnes of carbon.
These improvements are highlighted in the latest Australian Egg Industry Sustainability Report released 4 March, which demonstrates how the egg industry is progressing in important areas such as the environment, hen welfare, food security and rural livelihoods.
Other advancements include biosecurity improvements through a new virtual reality training module for farm workers, a solar energy feasibility tool, animal husbandry training for every egg farm in the country, and new waste management technology turning manure into high-grade organic fertiliser.
The report released by the egg industry’s national research body, Australian Eggs, comes after CSIRO researchers canvassed the views of thousands of Australians to help egg farmers better understand evolving community expectations.
Rowan McMonnies, Managing Director of Australian Eggs, said the industry is lowering its carbon footprint and better conserving resources in line with evolving mainstream community expectations.
“Eggs are in 95% of Australian households and are a staple in the national diet,” McMonnies said.
“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.
“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.
“Sustainability is more than just good environmental stewardship so we’ve also invested in a significant upskilling of the national egg farm workforce to raise animal husbandry standards and created a new risk assessment tool to help farmers 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.”
The 2020 Sustainability Framework Report completes the second annual cycle of a three-year program of engagement with Australians, designed to ensure the industry farms eggs in a manner that is socially, environmentally and economically sustainable.
The full Sustainability Framework Report 2020 is available here.
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