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Supermarkets contributing unnecessary carbon emissions in Aussie egg industry
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IN 2021 there are few industries not focussed towards reducing their carbon footprint.
helping farmers reduce it. I am talking about the absurd policies of big food giants when it comes to stocking locally grown
It beggars belief that these eggs had completed a 418km round journey which, for the purposes of local shoppers, is super- fluous.
The motivation is driven by consumer demand, climate change and the economic benefits of re- ducing energy and input costs.
food in local stores.
Just as consumers want a
Such a trip only serves to increase the overall cost and subsequent carbon footprint of these eggs, due to additional freight and fuel consumption.
reduced carbon footprint, they want also to buy food grown in their local area.
Australia’s egg industry is no different.
It would make sense that eggs produced in a certain area were available in the local supermarkets in that same region.
Why not allow local farmers to consistently de- liver their product directly to the local supermarket? Supermarkets hypo- critical when it comes to locally sourced foods
Our commercial egg sector already enjoys a relatively low carbon foot- print compared to other agricultural industries.
ronmental advancements within their farming prac- tices over the past few years.
arm – early modelling shows that in the future “carbon neutral eggs could be produced for as little as an extra few cents per dozen.” Supermarkets adding to carbon footprint
But the problem many small egg producers face, those who have the ca- pability to supply a local supermarket, is in the su- permarket chain’s distri- bution policy.
However, in a joint venture between Aus- tralian Eggs and AgriFu- tures Australia, research is underway to offset our remaining emissions and help the egg industry to eventually become carbon neutral.
This includes adopting solar power, improving bird genetics, reducing a reliance on mass-pro- duced grain and compost- ing animal waste into or- ganic fertiliser.
It defies belief there- fore, that several of Aus- tralia’s major supermar- ket chains are adding to the carbon footprint of agribusiness, rather than
Instead of allowing all local eggs to be distribut- ed directly from the farm gate to the local super- market, the multi-nation- al food retailers require farmers to transport their goods to the supermar- ket’s main distribution centre based in a capital city.
This system is particu- larly hypocritical, when you consider the super- market giants themselves are claiming to be striving to become completely car- bon neutral.
Egg farmers across Aus- tralia have worked hard to achieve major envi-
According to Australian Eggs – our industry’s re- search and development
Woolworths has set a goal to become carbon positive by 2050.
Melinda Hashimoto asks supermarket giants to do the right thing and reduce
Here, they are unloaded and then reloaded on to another truck and driven a further 209km back to a supermarket in the same town, for local consumers to buy.
The result would be fresher locally produced food and a greatly re- duced carbon footprint.
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2:48:29 PM
carbon emissions.
The product travels hun- dreds of kilometres to the distribution warehouse, only to be transported all the way back again to the local supermarket in the same town where the product was produced in the first place.
This is Australia’s larg- est supermarket chain and according to a recent report “is responsible for 1 percent of the nation’s carbon emissions.”
In a few cases, the su- permarket giants do allow local farmers to deliver directly to local stores.
The above statement however does not line up with the fact that local farmers transport locally grown product to a capi- tal city distribution centre, where it then travels all the way back to a Woolworths store in their local town.
But this is not always consistent.
An example, eggs pro- duced on a Queensland farm are transported by road to Brisbane – about 209km away.
Why not review the pol- icy to ensure that a locally produced product is deliv- ered direct to local stores from the nearby farm gate.
In a statement in Sep- tember 2020, Woolworths said reducing its emissions was the ‘right thing’ to do for the environment and local communities.
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Please send your letters to: or PO Box 162, Wynnum Qld 4178
Page 2 – National Poultry Newspaper, February 2021
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