Morrisons launches carbon-neutral eggs laid by chickens fed on insects
Image credit: Morrisons
The Morrisons supermarket chain has launched a range of 'Planet Friendly Eggs' that are produced by chickens feeding on a diet of insects.
The supermarket said the insects were in turn fed on food waste from its bakery, fruit and vegetable sites, creating a ‘circular waste’ feeding scheme.
A report by the University of Cambridge found that the eggs were carbon-neutral after analysing the emissions created in the eggs’ production and those which are offset on Morrisons' first carbon-neutral egg farm.
The egg farm where the first stock of Planet Friendly Eggs will originate also has a large wind turbine, 50kWh solar panels, and a carbon sequestration programme to offset any remaining emissions on the farm - with 20 per cent of its land planted with trees.
The report considered the entire production process including the insect growing unit and food waste transport, the sourcing of locally grown grain and the hen housing and care.
Morrisons said it has been working with its farmers to create net-zero-carbon farm ‘models’ that look at neutralising emissions through the whole lifecycle and footprint of the farm – the new Planet Friendly eggs are the first product to come out of these models
The product is also set to be the first to feature the British Lion Egg green stamp on its eggs to indicate the lower environmental impact to customers.
The Planet Friendly Eggs cost 30p each or £1.50 for a pack of six and will initially only be available in 50 Yorkshire stores and Morrisons' new lower environmental impact store in Little Clacton, with a national roll-out planned for 2023.
Sophie Throup, head of agriculture at Morrisons, said: “This is our first carbon-neutral product and there will be many more to come. It’s all part of our drive to be directly supplied only by ‘zero emission’ British farms by 2030.
“We know our customers consider the environmental impact of the food they eat and want affordable zero emission produce. Eggs are a regular weekly purchase for most households and so we’re thrilled that after 18 months of hard work with our farmers these eggs are finally hitting our shelves.”
Mark Williams, chief executive for the British Egg Industry Council, said: “Eggs generally have a significantly lower environmental impact than other animal proteins and they are a highly nutritious, natural and great tasting choice for all the family. We look forward to seeing more green Lions in the near future.”
An insect ‘mini farm’ was introduced onto the egg farm to feed the hens. The ‘mini farm’ container, in which millions of insects are kept, was developed and powered by Better Origin. Each container can help feed 32,000 free range hens and receives three tonnes of waste from Morrisons fruit and vegetable site each week. The insects can grow to 5,000 times their initial body mass in less than 14 days.
Fotis Fotiadis, CEO at Better Origin, said: “We are thrilled to see Morrisons introduce a carbon- neutral product, powered by our technology, to the public.
“The current food supply chain isn’t sustainable in the long term and while it is certainly effective, it’s coming at a cost to the environment.”
Morrisons hopes sustainable beef, lamb, fruit and vegetables from net-zero-carbon farms will follow.
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