The International Egg Commission (IEC) is celebrating its 50th anniversary and has chosen the milestone to make a number of announcements.

The organization's former vice-chairman and now chairman, César de Anda, has a definite vision for the international egg industry and how the IEC can bring this about.

At the heart of De Anda's vision is that every child in world should have access to at least one egg a day.

He says: "Our product is fabulous; it provides all the nutrients, vitamins and minerals that humans need.

"In a world where billions of people are underfed and undernourished, the egg is one of the most affordable, accessible forms of animal protein. Our eggs have a hugely important role to play in bringing an end to world hunger, and now is the time for our industry to really make a difference."

One of the ways in which the IEC is intending to make that difference over the coming years is through the creation of its new International Egg Foundation.

The aim of the foundation is to provide support to developing countries, initially in Africa and Asia, helping them to develop their egg production systems and processes in the long-term.

De Anda adds: "Building on the excellent response to the joint IEC-FAO seminars that we held in Southern Africa in 2013, the IEC is now preparing to work alongside the world's leading global foundations.

"Our members will provide much needed egg production skills to their international livestock development projects. We will have more news about these projects later in the year."

International egg conferences, meetings

As the IEC enters its second half-century, it has announced some strategic changes to its conferences and meetings.

Julian Madeley, director general of the IEC, says: "The IEC holds two conferences every year; these are major events in our industry's calendar. The number of delegates attending has increased year on year, and now approximately 400 people attend each of our conferences.

"As we embark on our next half-century, it is important that we continue to develop and help drive our industry forward.

"We are delighted to announce that, starting this year, the March/April three-day conference will be the IEC Business Conference, and the five-day conference held in September will be the IEC Global Leadership Conference. This restructure will allow us to really focus on the issues and events that our members are dealing with in their businesses on a daily basis."

The IEC is also in the process of introducing a new program of "Think Tanks" for 2014, where members will come together to challenge, push boundaries, inform and guide the future of the egg industry.