WHITE egg layers have great sustainability credentials, and are set to grow in popularity, according to Noble Foods.
A reduction in the carbon footprint of 400g carbon dioxide per kg of white eggs had been identified in performance comparisons with brown, said agricultural director Graham Atkinson at Poultry Network Live 2023.
“In terms of footprint, there are huge differences in efficiency with the white bird,” he said.
The footprint per kg eggs dropped from 3.2kg carbon dioxide with brown layers, to 2.79kg with white birds.
Introducing white layers was just one of a raft of measures the company was taking to achieve environmental sustainability.
He said this was the key to the future survivability of the egg sector.
“Environmental sustainability is on everyone’s radar, and it’s not going away,” explained Mr Atkinson.
“But it will cost us money, so we have to have financial sustainability in our supply chain.
“We will not move the dial on environmental credentials unless we battle for profitability for all throughout the supply chain.”
“From a Noble perspective, our focus is on carbon reduction. We will have to have efficient operational footprints and sustainable raw material sources.”
Noble had measured in detail its Scope 1,2, & 3 emissions and found that sources of soya had a huge impact.
“We can’t get away from it. There is an awful lot of work for us to do there.”
Other measures being taken include “all the things that you would be expecting us to be doing”, such as sourcing 100% green energy, using solar panels, LED lighting, or using route planning software in transport.
As a “reason to be cheerful”, he noted that a great deal could still be done to increase egg consumption in the UK.
The most significant statistics related to meal occasions. “There are 79m missed meal occasions alone for children eating eggs,” he said.
Research shows that 71% of consumers thought that eggs were a very versatile item for cooking with, yet half of all eggs were still eaten at breakfast.
“Eggs are a fabulous protein, and still good value for money as a protein, even though we’ve seen the price has risen.
“But do we market it well enough? We must do more.”
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