Environmental Impact of Canada's Egg Farmers in Decline

CANADA - The environmental footprint of Canada’s egg production supply chain declined by almost 50 per cent during the period from 1962 to 2012, according to a new independent study released by Egg Farmers of Canada (EFC).
calendar icon 23 June 2016
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The study was conducted by Global Ecologic Environmental Consulting and Management Services.

Conducted by Dr Nathan Pelletier, it is the most comprehensive study ever undertaken by a Canadian agricultural sector and examined the Canadian egg supply chain environmental footprint over the last 50 years.

It found that the cradle-to-farm gate impacts for eggs produced in conventional housing systems were, on average, one-third of the estimated impacts of the industry in 1962.

“Canadian egg farmers are constantly looking for new ways of making egg production more efficient and environmentally sound,” said Tim Lambert, Chief Executive Officer of Egg Farmers of Canada.

“While egg production increased by more than 50 per cent between 1962 and 2012, the egg sector’s overall environmental impact actually decreased in all emissions and resource use domains.”

Among its findings, the study concluded that egg production supply chain’s acidifying emissions declined by 61 per cent; eutrophying emissions declined by 68 per cent; GHG emissions declined by 72 per cent; and, further, that life cycle energy, land and water use decreased by 41 per cent, 81 per cent and 69 per cent, respectively.

“Efficiencies across the industry supply chain have had a significant positive impact on reducing the environmental footprint over the last 50 years,” added Mr Lambert.

“Egg Farmers of Canada will continue to work with stakeholders across the entire value chain to ensure we remain on this path, to continue to move towards an increasingly sustainable future.”

According to the report’s findings, increased environmental sustainability within the egg industry can be attributed to several factors, including changing the feed composition, which is an important contributor to reducing the supply chain’s carbon footprint, fertilisers, improved animal health and higher productivity in pullet and egg production.

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