STONEGATE FARMERS has launched the UK’s first carbon-neutral eggs under the Respectful Eggs brand into Sainsbury’s stores.
The new line will retail at £1.99 for six, and several changes within the supply chain have enabled the eggs to be certified as carbon neutral.
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Critically, no soya is used in the feed – by far the most significant contributor of carbon in the production of eggs.
A report by the British Free Range Egg Producers Association earlier this year found feed can contribute up to 90% of carbon emissions on an egg farm.
Hens producing Respectful Eggs are more efficient white breeds reared and raised by Stonegate.
The packer said the breed is ‘significantly’ more productive than standard brown birds, live 40% longer and consume less feed.
Instead of soya, hens are fed locally-grown field beans that are milled on-farm.
Crops are direct drilled, cutting fuel use and soil compaction, as well as improving soil health.
And both farms and the packing centre are powered by a solar array. Any additional electricity needed is bought-in wind power.
The company is also supporting independently verified and monitored carbon offset projects focused on forest protection in South America.
Climate Partner, a leading solutions provider for corporate climate action, has independently verified the carbon footprint of the Respectful egg, monitoring its journey and impact from the farm through to Sainsbury’s stores.
Lewis Mercieca, Stonegate Farmers commercial manager, said: “The Respectful egg reflects our passion for sustainable farming and the environment, our love for our hens, and our commitment to decarbonisation.
“We want customers to trust in our food, to trust in our eggs; and know that when they are purchasing a Respectful egg, that we have not only endeavoured to place the lightest footprint possible in delivering them a natural and delicious egg, but that every day we are trying to tread lighter still.”