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What Does Social Responsibility in Egg Farming Mean?
November 15, 2016
By Peter Clarke
“In a nutshell, it’s about real leadership—there’s a deep commitment within the whole team to corporate and social responsibility.”
“It’s not simply a written policy… it’s a way of working and thinking.”
That’s Julian Madeley, Director General of the International Egg Commission, talking about Egg Farmers of Canada. We are proud to have won the Commission’s Crystal Egg Award for Corporate and Social Responsibility (CSR). It’s not the first time we’ve won the award—actually, it’s the second. We talked to Julian about the role of corporate and social responsibility in the egg farming industry.
Julian believes that CSR goes to the heart of who we are as farmers. “The fundamental thing farmers do is care for chickens… you’re only going to succeed if you take that approach. Farmers don’t just care for their livestock, they also care for their families and their workers. Egg farmers can be in their communities for generations—they care a lot on a local level.”
After generations on the same farm, in the same community, egg farmers are deeply invested in the places they live.
CSR is built into the farmer DNA, and because of that, says Julian, very few egg farmers even realizing they are doing it.
So why does Julian admire Egg Farmers of Canada? He points to our “trifecta” of CSR— leadership, action and communication. “A core example is Project Canaan,” says Julian, referring to the egg project Egg Farmers of Canada is supporting in Swaziland. “They (EFC) have sent Canadian egg farmers to help with the design, the construction… they’ve sent Canadians over there on a continual basis to ensure proper training.”
Canadians are a constant presence on Project Canaan (pictured above), where they teach local staff the ins and outs of egg farming.
But to Julian, EFC’s CSR is more than one project. “EFC has helped create an international coalition to not only engage in Swaziland but in other projects through the International Egg Foundation. As opposed to doing everything in the name of EFC, they want to use their effort and leadership to show others internationally what can be done.”
More eggs, fewer resources—egg farming is leading the way towards a more sustainable future.
So what is the future of CSR in the global egg farming industry? Julian thinks the answer is the environment. Over the past 50 years, the amount of resources that the egg industry needs to produce one egg has dropped dramatically, he points out. It is a win-win situation that demonstrates that productivity and environmental sustainability can go hand in hand—“done to enhance efficiency, but it has a massive positive environmental impact.”
A big thank you to the International Egg Commission for this award! We’re happy to partner with organizations like them to bring the transformative power of eggs across the globe.