Southern Downs egg industry heads towards zero carbon future
CARBON neutral eggs could soon be readily available to consumers, as newly released research has confirmed a demand for the product.
The Carbon Neutral Project, conducted by Australian Eggs and AgriFutures Chicken Meat Australia, will create a road map for farmers to produce carbon neutral eggs and chicken meat for Australian consumers.
Integrity Ag and Environment project lead Dr Stephen Wiedemann said market research had confirmed the carbon footprint of the poultry industry was one in which consumers had taken an interest.
“The egg industry has a sustainability framework,” he said.
“Carbon footprints are an issue of importance for consumers.
“Every industry has a duty of care to assist the nation to reduce emissions.
“It’s an important issue considering it’s a major food source; it’s high in demand and increasing over time.”
On average, Australians consume 60 kilos of chicken meat or eggs per person per year – making it a staple of many diets.
The three-phase project is still in its early days; however Dr Wiedemann said the interest from Southern and Darling Downs farmers had been positive.
“A lot of them are very proactive in this space in wanting to reduce their emissions,” he said.
“And wanting to explore what carbon neutrality would mean.
“It’s producers from right across the country, including some of the major producers on the Downs.”
With a typically low carbon emission rate, the transition to a carbon natural product is one which wouldn’t be too difficult for many.
Dr Wiedemann said there was interest from livestock producers across the board, with the agenda largely pushed by those in the industry.
“I’ve been in this area for about 15 years, and the whole concept is only about that old,” he said.
“It’s been interesting in the last 12 months.
“It’s not being strongly driven by a clear government agenda, there’s actually a drive coming from the community and companies that wish to be proactive.
“It continues to become more and more relevant, and part of what’s expected by society.”
While climate change remains at the forefront of consumers’ minds, the ability to consume eggs or chicken meat with no carbon footprint is one Dr Wiedemann can see consumers embracing.
“It’s a good thing. What it allows is you can provide consumers with the choice to make a difference,” he said.
“People can use their decision about food purchases to drive change. The markets are really responsive to that and chicken.”