The YELs discuss the importance of trust and transparency, and also the role the industry has to play in communicating the many benefits of eating eggs to consumers.
What are the top business issues on your mind?
Harsha: Covid-19 has affected our lives in many ways and one of them being how we conduct our business on a daily basis. With work from home emerging as a new norm, the current issues on my mind are how to optimize working from home, how can we monitor employee performance and efficiency while they work from home and how to efficiently manage time and scheduling working from home. Another key issue on the top of my mind currently is how to leverage social media in educating the general public about the value an egg has to offer.
Jon: The biggest issue on my mind is how we continue to grow table egg consumption. The beginning of the COVID pandemic saw table egg consumption increase exponentially, and our challenge now is to maintain this growth as people look to return to ‘normal’ life. Additionally, I also believe there is an opportunity, particularly in our market in Canada, to expand our speciality production, particularly into organics.
Marco: One of the biggest issues we are currently facing is the low-price level received for producing eggs in relation to the high-quality requirements. Consumers often demand the highest quality but are not always willing to pay a fair price for these standards. I believe there is a role for the industry to play in helping to provide consumers with a better understanding of our product and the many benefits eating eggs brings, to increase the value they place on eating eggs.
What are the key threats for the egg industry?
Harsha: In my opinion an egg is such a nutritionally sound product that there are very few things that can challenge or pose as a threat to it. With that being said, I do believe that the biggest challenge we have as an industry is educating the general public about the nutritional and health benefits that an egg has to offer. The current and next generation of egg leaders in the world need to make a conscious effort to promote and educate the masses about the egg.
Jon: On a national level in Canada, international trade remains a threat as continued access to our market weakens our supply management system and threatens the stability of our agriculture sector. I also believe that the continued pushback from animal rights groups pressuring consumers’ views on agriculture is an ongoing threat.
Marco: I believe the biggest threats to the industry relate to the importance of building consumer trust. In recent years food scandals and increasing pressure from animal activist have seen a loss in consumer confidence in our products. It is important that we continue to restore consumer trust, by being transparent and open about the high standards that we produce to, showcasing why eggs should play a role in future sustainable diets.
What is the biggest untapped opportunity for the egg industry?
Harsha: I believe that an egg can be used to enhance the nutritional value of many of the foods that we eat today. Take ice cream for example, very few people know that eggs can be used in making ice cream as well. This not only makes ice cream more nutritious, but also adds a new dimension of taste and creativity to a product that is commonly found all over the world! Therefore, I would say that the biggest untapped potential for our industry is in figuring out how to make more products with the egg. Chips made out of eggs, Candy bars made from eggs and even egg-based protein shakes are all possibilities that need to be explored more by the industry.
Jon: I believe now more than ever healthy living and nutrition are on consumers’ minds and I think we have a tremendous opportunity to share the healthy benefits of eating eggs, and the sustainability stories of the farms that produce these eggs. There’s a push towards alternative proteins and vegetarian diets that puts pressure on the egg industry however I think it can be an opportunity for us to tell our story and present the facts, so consumers recognise the importance of eggs as a healthy and sustainable protein source.
Marco: One of the biggest untapped opportunities in the egg industry is the growing trend for healthy eating. Eggs are one of the healthiest foods available and offer one on the most natural sources of bioavailable vitamins and minerals. With the increasing trend towards fitness in younger generations there is a great opportunity for eggs as a natural alternative to food supplement products.