Morrisons has become the first supermarket to launch its own line of carbon neutral eggs as part of its commitment to be directly supplied by ‘zero emission’ British farms by 2030, five years ahead of the rest of the supermarket industry.
In stores now, Morrisons new carbon neutral ‘Planet Friendly Eggs’ come from Morrisons farms where hens are fed a soya-free diet of insects – which are in turn fed on food waste from its bakery, fruit and vegetable sites. This pioneering ‘circular waste’ feeding scheme, powered by Better Origin technology, reduces deforestation caused by soya production and negates the carbon emissions emitted from transporting this soya.
The egg 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 percent 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 eggs to come out of these models, with sustainable beef, lamb and fruit and vegetables to follow.
A report by the University of Cambridge has confirmed the carbon neutral status of Morrisons new Planet Friendly Eggs, having analysed all carbon emissions in the eggs’ 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.
The eggs are also set to be the first to feature a green version of the usually red British Lion Egg stamp on its eggs.
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.
Sophie Throup, Head of Agriculture at Morrisons, said: “This is our first carbon neutral egg 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.”
Ian Bamford, Commercial Director Centre for Industrial Sustainability at the University of Cambridge, said: “We were very pleased to have the opportunity to review and analyse the approach that Morrisons have 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.”
Mark Williams, Chief Executive for the British Egg Industry Council, said: “It’s great to see that Morrisons has launched a carbon neutral British Lion egg pack under its own brand, in a first for a UK retailer. Eggs generally have a significantly lower environmental impact than other animal proteins and they are a highly nutritious, natural and great tasting choice for all the family.”
An insect ‘mini farm’ was introduced onto the egg farm to feed the hens. The ‘mini farm’ container, in which millions of insects are kept, was developed and powered by Better Origin. 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.
Fotis Fotiadis, CEO & Founder at Better Origin, said: “We are thrilled to see Morrisons introduce a carbon neutral egg, 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 egg from Morrisons hit the shelves is testament to the incredible work of the Morrisons team involved.”
Morrisons is committed to introducing sustainable products across all areas of the supermarket by lower emission sourcing and reducing the amount of plastic used. Earlier this year, Morrisons became the first supermarket to commit to selling its own milk in carbon neutral cartons. The agricultural targets of Morrisons form part of the overall business plan to become ‘net zero’ for emissions by 2040, in line with the international Paris Agreement.