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Egg industry leaders meet for IEC Conference

Egg industry leaders from around the world met in Canada in September for the International Egg Commission (IEC) conference.

This year’s conference was the largest ever, attracting almost 500 attendees from around the globe. Delegates gathered to learn about the very latest industry developments, share best practice ideas and discuss the political and economic issues affecting their businesses.

Topics discussed included the increase in political and social pressure to ban conventional cages, and how to market eggs more effectively. 

Developments in egg production technology

To help members prepare for current and future changes to legislation, IEC organised a seminar session specifically on new enriched colony egg production systems. This is of particular importance with bans in conventional cages in 2009 in Germany, 2012 EU and 2015 California.

The special seminar was led by five industry experts, who shared their research findings and practical experiences of enriched colony systems (See: EU cage ban imminent).

Experts attending the conference expressed confidence that enriched colonies will comply with animal welfare guidelines, including those in California. However, experts also expressed concern saying it is almost impossible that all the Eu countries will be able to comply with the new rules in time.

Consumers taste with their eyes

IEC delegates in Canada had the opportunity to hear from one of the world’s leading marketing experts, Dr Jan-Benedict Steenkamp, who is an acclaimed expert on branding, says the IEC. He has advised many international blue chip organisations, including Proctor & Gamble, Unilever and Zurich Financial Services. Dr Steenkamp stressed to delegates the importance of branding their products, and urged them to use their product packaging effectively, making clear product statements that would help to differentiate their product from the competition.

He told the IEC delegates that consumers “taste with their eyes”; that although two eggs may taste the same, consumers make purchase decisions depending on the brand image. In the highly competitive egg industry, it is particularly important to clearly present the product’s selling features to the consumer, whether it is the message of free-range eggs; organic eggs; or eggs that are rich in Omega-3, delegates were told to capitalise on their branding, and give consumers an obvious reason for choosing their product.

Related link:

International Egg Commission (IEC)

Natalie Berkhout

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