The April 8 sessions of the International Egg Commission conference in Madrid was dedicated to marketing, and delegates gained invaluable advice and insights from Dr. Vincent Covello, Dr. Mitch Kanter and Professor David Hughes, who told the commission a combination of factors conspires to provide big opportunities for eggs.

Hughes explained that the combination of difficult financial times, an increased awareness of the environmental impact of producing beef, people in developed countries choosing to eat less red meat as they age, and recent negative publicity has all led to a decline in red meat consumption, but provides major opportunities for the egg industry. 

While the meat industry is facing increased pressures, Hughes believes these factors provide a very egg-friendly environment. Shoppers are looking to reduce their grocery bills; there is strong interest in natural, lightly processed foods; and there is an increase in the trend to cook meals at home; all of which, according to Hughes, are good news for the egg industry.

Kanter, director of the Egg Nutrition Center, also delivered very positive news to the industry during Monday's conference. He announced that the new International Egg Nutrition Consortium is now officially operational.  This new consortium will enable people throughout the egg industry to share research and educational programme information; providing an invaluable resource and helping to identify international experts.  A new dedicated website has been launched: www.internationaleggnutritionconsortium.com.

On Monday afternoon, attention was turned to egg production and trade issues; with delegates hearing from the OIE's Dr. Alejandro Thiermann, Dr. Tjeerd Kimman, and Esperanza Orellana, from Spain's Ministry of Agriculture. 

International Egg Comission conferences are held twice a year, with the next one is being held September 22-26 in Cape Town, South Africa.