Egg industry launches promotion of “low carbon” caged eggs

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 19th December 2011

Australia’s peak egg body, the Australian Egg Corporation Limited (AECL), today launched a marketing campaign to promote caged egg production as having the lowest carbon footprint of all the main protein foods.

AECL Managing Director, James Kellaway, said the findings of a study undertaken by the AECL suggested that caged eggs are the “highest quality protein food with the lowest emissions”.

The AECL study, based on the green house gas emissions from three egg farms over one year, found that Australian egg production had a lower carbon footprint than several European egg studies. Mr Kellaway attributed this to Australia having a more efficient grain production process.

The AECL research also found that ‘free range’ egg production’s carbon footprint was about 20 per cent higher than caged production. Mr Kellaway said this was due to free range production using more feed per kilogram of eggs produced, compared to cage egg production.

According to the AECL study, the largest carbon impacts in the supply chain were feed grain production, manure management and energy use at the farm of cage-based egg layers.

Mr Kellaway said that the research highlighted that there is scope for refinements to current practices in egg production in Australia to allow further reductions in emissions.