Suresh Chitturi, IEC Vice Chairman, made an impassioned call to action to delegates in Kyoto. He requested support from the global egg industry in engaging with their National Chief vets and OIE Representative to help implement a workable resolution to the forthcoming Global Hen Housing Standards.
In his presentation, ‘World Animal Health Organisation; Impact on Our Industry Suresh gave a comprehensive overview
of the current global situation and outlined what has been achieved to date. His talk highlighted China, India, Japan and the US as the primary producers of caged eggs, with total global caged production at 89.7%. At the moment, barn and free-range eggs account for 7.8% and 2.5% respectively. These figures highlight the need for the Global Hen Housing Standard to include all forms of production.
Against this background, the predicted levels of growth in the global population is putting the planet under increasing pressure. Over the next 40 years we are going to need to produce as much food as we have in the last 8,000 years of agriculture, this presents a huge challenge for the egg industry. Meeting this demand must be taken very seriously and requires critical measures to tackle it.
To address this situation, the IEC is undertaking increasing engagement with the WHO, OIE, FAO and CGE To date, one of the IEC’s key roles has been to provide technical input through the OIE Ad-hoc Working Group. A top-level IEC delegation visited the OIE’s headquarters in Paris in May 2018, consisting of members from Colombia, South Africa, Canada and India, representing both scientific and commercial interests. Suresh played a key role in the delegation on behalf of the entrepreneurial egg businesses of the world. The meeting was recognised by OIE staff as the largest ever industry representation for a key leadership group. The delegation had been carefully chosen to ensure the best interests of the industry were conveyed.
Since the delegation met in May a series of meetings with key staff and Chief Veterinary Officers from around the world have commenced. Over the coming months Country Associations must continue to engage with their regional Chief Veterinary Officers. In his presentation Suresh urged for action; “The text of the Standards must work for the egg industry, but typically this is the time for caution and awareness. Therefore, it is vitally important to engage and make sure that every Country Association is talking on egg producers’ behalf. This is an absolutely critical step, otherwise something may arise that we can ill afford.”
As a prominent businessman, Suresh is already part of ongoing discussions with India’s relevant organisations to help minimise the risk of a non-favourable outcome.
Evidence demonstrates that there is a clear correlation between egg consumption and growth rate in children. If there was a reduction in high quality protein from eggs it would pose a real danger to human well being. These factors demonstrate why action from the industry is so important and that there is little time remaining to accomplish these objectives.
“It is almost guaranteed that the final draft will be approved in May 2020. What happens in October 2018 makes me cautious, so we must remain informed” Suresh concluded.
One thing is apparent – it is crucial the final OIE text does not put 89% of egg production outside of the Standards’ remit. The egg industry does not want to see the introduction of prescriptive benchmarking but a fairer Standard that will be more outcome based.
It is now in your hands. We must ensure that we obtain the outcome the egg industry needs. The IEC cannot do this alone and we request your support.
Vice Chairman -International Egg Commission
“If there was a reduction in high quality protein from eggs it would pose a real danger to human well being.”