Morrisons, the UK supermarket, is aiming to sell carbon-neutral eggs in 2022, thanks to a scheme that will see chickens fed on insects grown in shipping containers on farms.
Why it matters
In sustainability terms, it’s potentially a big step forward – a sort of proof of concept of “circular agriculture”. This scheme sees waste from one of the supermarket’s fruit and vegetable processing sites used to produce insects to feed chickens, and is a huge shift away from the use of imported soya which has been linked to deforestation in the Amazon.
The man behind the start-up supplying the insect farms claims they could cut almost 35,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions a year if used across all 60 of Morrisons’ egg farms, the Financial Times reports.
Bought-in feed makes up 85% of an egg’s carbon footprint, according to the British Free Range Egg Producers Association.
Morrisons is also working with Queen’s University Belfast on a three-year trial looking at the use of seaweed supplements to help to reduce methane emissions from cattle.
Sainsbury’s has introduced a carbon-neutral egg that eschews the use of soya as a feed and relies instead on locally grown beans.
“Reducing soya from livestock feed is one of the key challenges for farms needing to lower their carbon footprint and we wanted to help find a solution” – Sophie Throup, head of agriculture at Morrisons.