UK retailer Morrisons has rolled out private-label, carbon-neutral eggs as part of its pledge to source goods from ‘zero emission’ British farms by 2030.
The eggs are sourced from farms where hens are fed on a diet of insects, which are, in turn, fed on food waste from its bakery, fruit and vegetable sites.
This ‘circular waste’ feeding scheme, powered by Better Origin technology, reduces deforestation caused by soya production and negates the carbon emissions emitted from transporting soya, Morrisons added.
The farm that is supplying the first batch of carbon-neutral eggs also has a large wind turbine, 50kWh solar panels, and a carbon sequestration programme to offset any remaining emissions on the farm. In addition, 20% of the land on the farm is planted with trees.
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."
'Net-Zero Carbon Farm Models’
Morrisons has been working with its farmers to create 'net-zero carbon farm models’, aimed at neutralising emissions through the whole lifecycle and footprint of the farm.
In due course, the retailer hopes to launch sustainable beef, lamb and fruit and vegetables from such farming models.
The carbon-neutral status of the eggs has been confirmed by the University of Cambridge after analysing all carbon emissions in the eggs’ production chain and those which are offset on its first carbon-neutral egg farm.
The report took into account the holistic approach to egg production, including the Better Origin X1 insect growing unit and food waste transport, the sourcing of locally grown grain and the hen housing and care.
Ian Bamford, commercial director of the centre for industrial sustainability at the University of Cambridge, stated, "We were very pleased to have the opportunity to review and analyse the approach that Morrisons has taken to calculating the carbon impact of several of their egg producers. It was clear that the mitigation actions that had been put in place by the first farm to produce carbon-neutral eggs enabled them to meet that goal."
Lower Environmental Impact
Morrisons added that the eggs are the first to feature the British Lion Egg green stamp, indicating the lower environmental impact to customers.
Morrisons' Planet Friendly Eggs are priced at 30p each, or £1.50 for a pack of six, and will be available initially in 50 Yorkshire stores and its new lower environmental impact store in Little Clacton.
The retailer plans to roll out the product at a national level next year.
Fotis Fotiadis, CEO and founder of 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.
"Our ambition at Better Origin is to change that by creating a more sustainable circular food chain, so to finally see the first carbon-neutral product from Morrisons hit the shelves is testament to the incredible work of the Morrisons team involved."