On Tuesday 27 July, IEC Chairman, Suresh Chitturi, joined a diverse panel of speakers to discuss the importance of ‘Sustainable Protein for All’ at a UN Food Systems Pre-Summit affiliated session.  

Convened by the Government of Thailand, and moderated by His Excellency Thanawat Tiensin, Chairperson of UN Committee on World Food Security, the session highlighted the valuable role eggs play in providing accessible, affordable, and sustainable nutrition.

Opening the session, keynote speaker His Excellency Hans Hoogeveen, UN Ambassador of the Netherlands, emphasised that healthy diets are based on high-quality protein, and it is essential everyone has access to affordable protein from a range of animal and plant-based sources.

Mr Hoogeveen added that it is critical to reduce the environmental impact of all forms of protein, with stakeholders working together across sectors – only then will affordable and healthy diets become accessible for all. 

Egg industry commitments

Presenting ‘The Egg Industry’s Commitments to the UN SDGs’, Mr Chitturi highlighted how the egg industry not only supports over two million egg farmers and their families around the world, it also supports the delivery of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

“In 2018 the IEC launched the Global Initiative for Sustainable Eggs (GISE) to drive continuous improvement within our industry and support the UN to fulfil its sustainability goals. The industry has committed to support these, but two areas in which we continue to make significant contributions are Zero Hunger and Responsible Consumption and Production,” said Mr Chitturi.

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Eggs provide the highest quality protein, as well as 13 vitamins and minerals, and thanks to this nutrient density and bioavailability, eggs have the capacity to directly improve human health outcomes around the world.

“Studies such as the Lulun project in Ecuador have showcased that eggs have the potential to reduce stunting among children, and I have also witnessed the power of eggs within the diets of nutritionally vulnerable children first-hand in my country of India,” added Mr Chitturi. 

The egg industry is committed to producing nutritious foods in environmentally sound and responsible ways, with eggs being officially recognised as a low impact protein source. However, egg farmers are always looking for new methods and technologies to make production even more environmentally sustainable.

“Many livestock industries, such as the dairy and poultry industries have made significant environmental commitments to achieve net zero, and the egg industry is no different.  The IEC is currently working with our Environmental Sustainability Expert Group to support the development of a roadmap to achieve net zero emissions, identifying opportunities for the global industry to adopt best practice and continue to provide the highest quality affordable and sustainable protein for all,” concluded Mr Chitturi.