October 9th is celebrated as the International Egg Commission, World Egg Day. The designation is intended to publicize the value and benefits of eggs in member countries. Suggested activities include seminars highlighting nutritional value, distribution of brochures to consumers and institutional buyers and arranging omelet breakfasts. In the U.S. the AEB promotes consumption of eggs through generic advertising. The interesting question is whether the activities of organizations applying check-off funds actually serve their purpose. Per capita egg consumption in the U.S. has not shown any significant rise over the past decade although individual brands of enriched eggs have shown long term, annual increases in sales albeit off a small base.
The AEB has undoubtedly striven to counter adverse perceptions of the undesirable aspect of cholesterol in eggs and the Organization has promoted nutritional benefits of lutein and a balanced amino acid profile together with the inherent functional qualities of eggs which appeal to the commercial sector. The advent of the IEC International Egg Day should be an occasion for reevaluation of objectives and an assessment of the contribution to sales and prices from generic promotion. Since there is no easy method of evaluating effectiveness, it can be accepted that absent the activities of the AEB and the many levels of operation, egg consumption may in fact decline, impacting profitability and restricting growth of the industry.
A look inside
This edition includes reviews of recent scientific meetings which offer the prospect of increased efficiency and advances in safety and quality of eggs and derived products. The collective contributions of scientist affiliated to federal laboratories, land grant universities and laboratories operated by the allied industry benefit us all if we are able to apply valid and realistic recommendations.
As we move into Fall, it is time to consider winterization and to prepare housing and facilities for the consequences of cold temperatures and storms. Egg Industry wishes you good farming and profitability.