Supermarket chain Morrisons has launched a line of “planet-friendly” eggs from hens fed on insects reared on food waste in its Yorkshire heartland.
The supermarket said it is the first to launch a line of carbon-neutral eggs, which are the first product as part of the retailer’s drive to be directly supplied by zero emission British farms by 2030. The hens laying the eggs are fed a soya-free diet, including insects fed on food waste from Morrisons’ bakery, fruit and vegetable sites, using an insect “mini farm” container from British start-up Better Origin, installed on site.
The supermarket said insects are a natural part of chickens’ ancestral diet and have no negative impact on the quality, shelf life or taste of the eggs. Cutting out the soya avoids the emissions associated with clearing forests and other land to grow the crop in places such as Brazil, and the transport pollution from shipping the feed.
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.
Morrisons said the product is the first to feature the British Lion Egg green stamp to indicate the lower environmental impact to customers.
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.”
Ian Bamford, commercial director of the 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.”
The free range eggs will initially be available in 50 Yorkshire stores, and Morrisons’ new lower environmental impact store in Little Clacton, Essex, with a national rollout planned for 2023.
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