MORRISONS has become the first retailer to launch own-brand carbon-neutral eggs that will also feature the new green British Lion logo.

Hens are fed a soya-free diet that features insects, which are reared on food waste items from the supermarket’s bakery, fruit and vegetable sites.

See also: Hear more about Morrisons’ journey to net zero at Poultry.Network Live

This ‘circular waste’ feeding scheme, powered by Better Origin technology, reduces deforestation caused by soya production and negates the carbon emissions from transporting soya.

Better Origin has developed an insect ‘mini farm’ model, a shipping container-based on-farm insect production system.

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.

Renewable energy

The 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% of its land planted with trees.

Morrisons 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.

Planet Friendly eggs are the first product to come out of these models, with sustainable beef, lamb and fruit and vegetables to follow.

Carbon neutral status

A report by the University of Cambridge has confirmed the carbon neutral status of Morrisons’ new eggs, having analysed all carbon emissions in their production and those which are offset on Morrisons’ first carbon neutral egg farm.

The report considers the holistic production of the eggs, including the Better Origin X1 insect growing unit and food waste transport, the sourcing of locally grown grain and the hen housing and care.

Morrisons Planet Friendly Eggs cost 30p each or £1.50 for a pack of six.

They are initially available in 50 Yorkshire stores and Morrisons’ new lower environmental impact store in Little Clacton, with a national rollout planned for 2023.

‘Zero emission by 2030’

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.”

Read an analysis of Morrison’s Egg Carbon Calculation System