Sunday, October 24, 2010

Egg Corp AGM and Industry Forum

The Australian Egg Corporation's Industry Forum and Annual Meeting will be held in Adelaide this year, on November 24 and 25.

AECL staff have been keen to ensure there will be no debate on proposed changes for 'free range' standards. But that might not succeed as I have challenged James Kellaway (AECL Managing Director) to list statements made by people opposed to the draft standard which he alleges are 'half truths'.

In his column in the industry newsletter Eggstra Eggstra Mr Kellaway made the following assertions:

"Given the research undertaken to date, AECL continues to liaise with industry and consult with egg producers over the draft minimum standards in order to be more objective and measurable on key production parameters for each of the three recognised production systems. AECL is seeking to build industry credibility, accountability and transparency for all Australian egg producers during this process, not diminish it. It has been unfortunate that some egg producers, during this industry consultative phase, have decided to react and 'attack' the draft minimum standards by approaching the media for their own ends and political means by telling half truths and colourful language."

Those assertions have not been substantiated and I challenged his allegations in an email which was copied to many people in the egg industry. There has been significant support from producers all over Australia and others in all sectors of the industry. Some of them I have worked with, but most of them I have never met.
The ball is now in Mr Kellaway's court.
It's sad that the AECL has taken the approach of only focussing on the needs of big business. It's actions demonstrate that it ignores small producers, environmental issues and the views of consumers.

An example of its attitude to the environment is there for all to see on the front of its AGM leaflet. Emblazened across the bottom is the quote:

'We can't impede progress in the name of environmental action that yields little for the environment and even less for our people.. and we should look at the environment as an economic opportunity.' from Meg Whitman who plans to run as governor of California for the Republican Party.

I don't quibble about 'little for the environment and even less for people' ...  that is clearly what she sees as a legitimate view. BUT  'looking at the environment as an economic opportunity' shows a total lack of understanding about the world in which we all live.

We all breath air, we all drink water (well most of us) and it's hard to understand that some of our 'leaders' don't care about future generations. Maybe Meg Whitman and James Kellaway should read Soylent Green.

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