- History and Background
United Egg Producers (UEP) was created in 1968 as a federated Capper-Volstead Agriculture Cooperative of five regional marketing cooperatives. Individual egg producers were invited to be members of their regional cooperative and in turn would therefore be members of UEP.
Through the years UEP's basic objectives have expanded to include services to members in the areas of government relations, animal welfare, environment, food safety, industry coalition building, nutrition, egg trading, member service programs, and communications.
UEP's leadership has been the driving force behind:
• A Government Relations office in Washington, D.C.
• Establishing the Egg Clearinghouse, Inc. (ECI).
• Sponsoring legislation to create the American Egg Board.
• Creating the first egg industry PAC fund (EggPAC).
• Establishing the Egg Nutrition Center.
• Establishing the United Egg Association Further Processors.
• Establishing the United Egg Association Allied Division.
• Establishing the United Egg Association Producer Packer Division.
• Establishing Food Safety Total Quality Assurance Programs.
• Writing the industry's Animal Welfare Guidelines.
• Establishment of the UEP Environmental Scientific Panel.
• Adoption of science-based animal welfare programs.
The industry changed considerably through the years, but the structure of UEP remained very much the same. Like the industry itself, the organization needed to be streamlined, to become more efficient and effective to meet the changing needs of the membership. These changes began to take place in 1998. Some examples are:
• In 1998 all regional offices consolidated their services into one national UEP.
• By-laws were amended, changing the organization from five regional members to individual producer members.
With the organizational structure change, the producer response was overwhelmingly supportive. This change gave the producers more direct access to the national office and thereby greater input into establishment of policy and future missions. The membership has grown in response to these changes and more producers are involved than ever in UEP's Board and Committees. The UEP membership now represents egg producers owning more than 95% of all layers in the U.S.
Like the founding producers in 1968, the current members have a vision for the future. One important thing that has not changed is that the organization is responsible to the membership and is operated by a Board of Directors made up of producers elected annually.
One way that UEP keeps our members updated on these issues and services is through the bi-weekly UEP "United Voices" newsletter. Because UEP and our industry are involved in so many important areas with regards to government relations, environment, food safety and animal welfare the timely sharing of information is critical. "United Voices" keeps the membership on the leading edge with how these issues and others impact our industry and how it shapes our priorities and policy.
UEP engages professional consultants for government relations, animal welfare, food safety, and the environment in order to provide the best service possible to our members.
UEP also engages the services of independent scientific committees for animal welfare, and environment in order to establish the best possible programs. It is highly likely that UEP and the egg industry have the most progressive and proactive of all of animal agriculture in terms of programs to address animal welfare and environment issues.
Every association must have an effective government relations team for the benefit of its members. We belive that UEP has the best in our nation's capital of all of animal agriculture.