The initiative was the idea of the Egg Nutrition Center in the U.S. and represents a real step forward in communication within the global egg industry, according to organizers. Several countries already have some form of health and nutrition expertise to provide educational information and counsel on the health benefits of eggs. The level of support ranges from a fully staffed nutrition research center in the U.S., like the Egg Nutrition Center, to countries that employ external consultants on an as-needed basis. Regardless of the level of support, however, it is rare that the nutrition experts in various countries communicate with one another to share information or provide insights to one another.
The idea of an international egg nutrition consortium is that it will provide members with a vehicle for sharing health, nutrition and research advice and information. It will make it easier to share resources and prevent unnecessary re-development of existing materials. Having contacts in different countries could be helpful when dealing with government regulations, refuting misinformation or providing new or existing research information that might not otherwise be readily available.
The consortium will also be useful for:
- sharing ideas/resources
- educational programs
- providing input/information in a crisis
- avoiding duplication/replication of materials
- identifying international experts
As a first step, the consortium is identifying the health and nutrition experts who support the egg industry in various countries. From there, the idea is to have regular communications between the experts and develop a dedicated section of the International Egg Commission website. There are over 20 countries so far that have agreed to take part in the initiative, according to organizers.