In May, the CSIRO conducted background research on the egg industry to establish a factual footing on the egg supply chain and enable their team to engage with stakeholders on complex industry issues.
This included desktop research and engagement with Australian Eggs to understand the role of industry stakeholders.
In June, the CSIRO engaged with industry and external stakeholders to ensure that a community survey could be developed that is focused on the most relevant industry issues. This was done by directly engaging with a broad range of stakeholders to get their views on the impacts and contributions of the egg industry. The issues covered in the interviews were:
- How the stakeholder relates or fits into the Australian egg industry
- What issues are most important for the industry to be addressing across the value chain
- More detailed understanding of each component of the Sustainability Framework from the perspective of each stakeholder group
The stakeholder engagement process included a selection of industry and external stakeholders that were likely to have a good understanding of egg industry issues. Stakeholders were identified based on their role or expertise in relation to each of the key areas of the Sustainability Framework and included egg farmers and egg industry suppliers, government departments, financiers, retailers and non-government organisations.
Develop Community survey
In July, information collected through the stakeholder engagement process was analysed by the CSIRO to identify key themes.
These themes were then used as inputs to the development of a community survey that explores views on:
- The egg industry generally
- Key areas of people, animal welfare, the environment and economic viability
- Specific industry issues
The community survey process differs from other market research in that its seeks to explore industry issues from multiple perspectives and build a more robust understanding of the underlying values that influence community views.
The key themes from the stakeholder engagement process are available in this summary report from the CSIRO.
Conduct community survey
In August the community survey was made available in two ways:
- Statistically representative sample of 5,500 members of the community
- ‘Open call’ via the CSIRO and Australian Eggs websites for anyone that is interested to participate
The sample of 5,500 community members is larger than required to conduct statistical analysis and is designed to ensure the sample is representative of society at large.
The sample of community members is representative as it is based on Australian Bureau of Statistics demographic profiles (e.g. age, gender, education) and data collection is spread across all of Australia.
In September, the CSIRO closed the survey and analysed the results. The first step in this process was ‘cleaning’ the data by identifying and managing missing data that may distort the results, and ensuring the data is in a shape that supports accurate interpretation of statistical analyses. Once data is clean it can be analysed for insights.
In social science research such as opinion polling or market research, the aim is to provide a surface level understanding of the story in the data. This analysis often provides what is called a ‘descriptive’ account of the data, describing what people think in percentage terms or average scores on each item. This can be useful but it doesn’t provide a deeper understanding of why people think the way they do, or provide much guidance on how to address community concerns.
The CSIRO undertook both descriptive and inferential analyses of the community survey data to both describe what the data looks like and draw inferences as to why it looks this way. This provides the Australian egg industry with constructive and meaningful ways to address the issues identified.
Share research outputs
In October, Australian Eggs and the CSIRO made the research outputs publicly available. The CSIRO supported the release of the research outputs by being available to discuss the nature of the community survey and the findings.
The research outputs are intended to drive productive engagement between the Australian egg industry and the community. Australian Eggs will now start the process of gathering relevant information and perspectives from egg industry stakeholders to address the issues raised.
Engage on research outputs
In November, Australian Eggs will engage with egg industry stakeholders to extend the research outputs to egg farmers.
This kind of research usually generates a mix of expected and new insights that require some reflection and discussion. Through discussions with egg farmers and other industry stakeholders a deep understanding of the research outputs and their implications will be found.
Develop Sustainability Framework Report
In December and January, Australian Eggs will develop content for the Sustainability Framework Report. The Report will include information on the issues raised in the community survey to enable the community to better understand the drivers for the impacts and contributions of the egg industry.
This process will be conducted in consultation with egg industry stakeholders and representative bodies to ensure the information provided is accurate and reflects industry practice.
Release Sustainability Framework Report
In February, Australian Eggs will publish the Sustainability Framework Report for review and consideration by all interested stakeholders. Australian Eggs, egg industry representative bodies and the CSIRO will support the release of the report by being available to discuss the process.
The report, and any subsequent community engagement, will provide useful inputs to the second round of the Sustainability Framework process in 2019.