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Study confirms significant reduction in Canadian egg supply chain environmental footprint

OTTAWA, June 20, 2016 – Egg Farmers of Canada (EFC) has released an independent study conducted by Global Ecologic Environmental Consulting and Management Services which found that the environmental footprint of Canada’s egg production supply chain declined by almost 50 per cent during the period from 1962 to 2012.

The study, conducted by Dr. Nathan Pelletier, 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 supple chain’s carbon footprint, fertilizers, improved animal health and higher productivity in pullet and egg production.

About the study

The report was produced under contract by Global Ecologic Environmental Consulting and Management Services Ltd. for the Egg Farmers of Canada. The study relied on the recent environmental LCA done for EFC that outlined the state of the industry in 2012 and also drew from various sources including Statistics Canada and industry partners to gain insights into the realities of 1962. The study provides a comprehensive assessment of the life cycle resource and environmental implications of changes in Canadian egg production over a 50 year interval spanning from 1962 – 2012.

About Egg Farmers of Canada

Now in its fifth decade as one of Canada’s leading agriculture organizations, Egg Farmers of Canada manages the national egg supply and promotes egg consumption while representing the interests of regulated egg producers from coast to coast.

About Global Ecologic Environmental Consulting and Management Services Ltd.

Global Ecologic has a broad experience base in sustainability metrics and biophysical accounting services, with an emphasis on food supply chain management. It has researched numerous agricultural crop, animal husbandry, fisheries and aquaculture production, processing and distribution chains, and worked closely with a variety of small and large organizations to further their sustainability initiatives both at home and abroad.