UK – Morrisons, UK’s fourth largest supermarket chain has launched its own line of carbon-neutral eggs as part of its commitment to be directly supplied by ‘zero emission’ British farms by 2030.

The UK retail giant said the new carbon neutral ‘Planet Friendly Eggs’ come from its 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.

With the launch, Morrisons becomes the first supermarket to transition its own-label eggs to a carbon neutral status.

The Planet Friendly carbon-neutral eggs are produced under a ‘circular waste’ feeding scheme and will feature the British Lion Egg green stamp indicating the lower environmental impact to customers.

This pioneering feeding scheme, powered by Better Origin technology, reduces deforestation caused by soya production and negates the carbon emissions emitted from transporting this soya, the supermarket added.

Better Origin is a Cambridge-based British start-up and agritech company that helps fix broken food chains with AI-powered insect mini-farms inspired by waste cycles found in nature.

Through the partnership, Morrisons’ free-range egg farms will be supplied with 10 insect mini farms that take local food waste from supermarkets and convert it into high-quality, sustainable animal feed.

The 10 mini-farms will expand the two units that are currently available to Morrison’s free-range egg, with the retailer giving a hint of more to be added in the future.

The mini-farms are containers that store millions of insects which can help feed 32,000 free-range hens and receive three tonnes of waste from the Morrisons fruit and vegetable site each week.

The container insect farms mimic the conditions found in nature where food is eaten by insects and upcycled into essential nutrients for animal feed.

Using AI and automation to create the optimal environment for this cycle to flourish, Better Origin produces black soldier fly larvae which can be fed to the waste from the supermarket.

The system is designed to be hyperlocal, automated, and easily installed on the farms by the use of cameras, computer vision, and sensors to monitor the conditions within each mini-farm to make sure they are optimal for production.

The insects can grow to 5,000 times their initial body mass in less than 14 days than the natural insects that are found or cultivated on other sets of farms.

While the Morrisons eggs are the first own-brand, the UK’s first carbon-neutral egg was launched in 330 Sainsbury’s stores in October last year by Respectful.

Its eggs are produced on free-range farms that use locally grown feed, renewable energy, and a carefully chosen breed of hen that inherently have a low carbon footprint but feed on soya.

This commendable move has followed that of Dutch farm Kipster which launched the world’s first carbon-neutral eggs in 2017 after spending four years developing a closed-loop farming method.

The production method is based on removing soy out of the equation by feeding its white hens with biscuits, rice cakes, and other leftovers from local bakeries that cannot be sold and would otherwise be thrown away.

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