A community survey to explore the impacts of the egg industry was undertaken by CSIRO between April 27 and June 5, 2020. Funded by Australian Eggs, the research was part of a three-year program examining the relationship between the egg industry and the Australian community.
key findings from the 2019 survey are that trust in the egg industry and acceptance of it among the Australian public has improved. This is likely the product of improvements in how responsive the industry is perceived to be to community interest in sustainability issues, a belief that the industry is governed effectively and maintains strong standards, and retains very strong positive values. It demonstrated that an extensive advertising and public relations program can succeed in altering community views.
Animal welfare remained a priority issue for the egg industry, with a large proportion of participants feeling that egg farmers need to do more to improve poultry living conditions. While the public indicated they may be willing to pay more for eggs to ensure that health standards in egg production are strictly audited, they do not feel the same about paying extra to support egg farmers investing in higher welfare standards.
The 2019 findings also indicated shifting perceptions about the environmental aspects of sustainability in the egg industry. There was a substantial increase in the number of Australians who felt that egg farming was a good use of land, and lower in environmental impact than other industries. As global interest in environmental sustainability continues to rise, this feature of the egg industry may come to play an increasingly prominent role in its value proposition to Australians.
The 2019 community survey showed that Australians that hold critical views about the egg industry can change their perspective over time. The comparison of those people that completed the survey in 2018 and 2019 demonstrated that sentiment toward an industry can improve with industry action on its core challenges and the way that it engages the public in its work to be more sustainable.