American Egg Board focused on increasing US egg exports

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For the first time ever, the American Egg Board (AEB) is working to increase the consumption of U.S. eggs outside of the country.

In 2017, the AEB – a checkoff-supported organization charged with increasing demand for eggs and egg products through research, education and promotion – is making increasing exports a strategic priority. In an interview with Egg Industry, the AEB’s President and CEO, Anne Alonzo, and its immediate past chairman, Blair Van Zetten, explained the reasoning behind the decision and how the organization will help the U.S. egg industry increase its business abroad.   

“We’re very excited and I think that this is exactly where we need to be as an organization in terms of supporting our producers and their interests and increasing demand,” Alonzo said. “This is a natural evolution, we believe, for this organization.”

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Anne Alonzo

The vision of a new mission

Van Zetten, president of the Oskaloosa, Iowa-based Oskaloosa Food Products Corp., an egg products company, said the egg industry has a simple mathematical reason to export.

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Blair Van Zetten

While the U.S. is the world’s second largest egg producer, with U.S. hens laying 5.7 million tons of eggs in 2015, only a small percentage of the world’s population lives within the country. Meanwhile, it exports only 3.5 percent of its eggs, Van Zetten said. By comparison, more than 20 percent of U.S. broiler meat is exported.

U.S. egg exports used to be more robust, at about 7 percent, Van Zetten said. But the 2014-15 highly…

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