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By Kyra Gillespie

Egg farmers are turning the spotlight on themselves with a new research project aimed at revealing what community members think about their industry.

Australian Eggs, an industry-owned research organisation has invested in the project that’s being undertaken by the CSIRO.

The research is designed to gain an understanding of community sentiment, with the ultimate aim to develop a Sustainability Framework to help ‘future-proof’ the nation’s egg industry.

Australian Eggs’ Managing Director, Rowan McMonnies, said the organisation is prepared for a ‘warts and all’ report to emerge from the research, the largest consultation program ever undertaken by the industry.

“We are going into this process with our eyes wide open, and a firm belief that our members will be far better placed to develop sustainable futures for their businesses, armed with the information that emerges from this work,” Mr McMonnies said.

“We want to get on the front foot with this because if you don’t listen to the public you can very quickly get out of step with community expectations.”

The CSIRO will survey more than 5000 Australians about the egg industry as well as conducting an open-call for any interested members of the public to have their say.

Mr McMonnies said the research project had been developed in the context of a growing appetite among Australians to understand where their food comes from and the methods used in its production.

“Eggs are a staple food and we believe that listening to views about our industry is an important part of maintaining community trust,” Mr McMonnies said.

He also emphasised the independence of the research and said a lot of care had gone into developing a robust survey mechanism to get the clearest possible picture of community sentiment.

CSIRO senior research scientist Dr Kieren Moffat says changing consumer purchasing habits are having an impact on the industry, with one of the project aims to better understand the drivers of change.

“We are expecting the results to provide real and compelling data that will help create a sustainable future for the egg industry in Australia,” Dr Moffat said.

To participate in the research, go to https://research.csiro.au/eggs/.

The survey closes on 31 August.

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