The Australian poultry sector is moving towards more sustainable methods of productivity by decreasing their carbon footprint.
Australian Eggs and AgriFutures Australia are conducting the “Carbon Neutral Project”, which is expected to be finalized by 2021.
It will be one of the most comprehensive carbon footprint assessments conducted in the Australian agriculture industry, providing farmers with the proper research and know-how in order to reduce their footprint and enable consumers to enjoy sustainably sourced products.
Rowan McMonnies, Managing Director of Australian Eggs, has stated that they feel a sense of responsibility to partake in this endeavour, considering eggs and chicken meat have a very important part to play in feeding a growing population and delivering nutrition. He also highlighted Australian’s desire of witnessing this positive change.
The research has only just recently commenced and is expected to finish by November 2021.
Mr. McMonnies said the project will not happen without the involvement of egg producers.
“An industry can’t perform unless it’s farms perform… first you get the baseline information and pathway which is what it would take and then you’ve got to extend that out….,” he said.
“It will be a very interesting dynamic within the egg industry and other industries…”
The Managing Director also added that the poultry sector is already at an advantage heading into this project, due to them already having a relatively lower carbon footprint.
Lead researcher, Dr. Stephen Wiedemann, said the last carbon footprint assessment of Australia’s poultry industries was conducted over a decade ago, and believes recent improvements could see carbon neutral chicken and eggs being produced at a modest cost in the future.
“The first step before identifying pathways to carbon neutrality is to conduct a comprehensive carbon footprint of the entire supply chain, from the planting of the grain that chickens eat to the packaging and transport of the final product,” Dr. Wiedemann said.
“Once you have that all-important baseline for the entire industry, you can test the impact of steps individual farms are taking to lower their footprints and then identify ways to mitigate whatever emissions remain.”
A pilot program will be run as part of the research to develop an auditable carbon neutral product for both eggs and chicken meat under the Australian Government Climate Active program.
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