Sunday, October 25, 2009

Our farm has a low Carbon Footprint

For some time we have been taking a look at the carbon footprint of the farm and doing some rough comparisions with other egg farms - both free range and cage farms.
Some in the industry try to claim that cage farms are more sustainable than free range or organic farms - and their bleating has been reinforced by a study presented a few years ago by Cranfield University in the UK.
It purported to show that organic egg production needs 14% more energy than non-organic and increases most environmental burdens by 10% to 33% (except pesticides), but the land area needed more than doubled. Comparing non-organic systems, it says that keeping 100% of the hens in cages incurs 15% less energy than 100% free range, with similar differences for most other burdens, although abiotic resource is 10% higher for caged birds and land use 25% less.
It seems to have been research which was designed to show that cage farms are environmentaly friendly!
What it clearly didn't take into account were things like the footprint created when the cage farm is initially established - the tonnes of concrete, steel, cooling equipment etc. etc. and the ongoing power costs associated with the massive sheds. (They don't have to worry much about cooling the sheds in the UK, but here right through summer the sheds have computer-operated climate control systems.)
At the Churchill Island Farmers' Market on Saturday we started promoting the low carbon footprint of our farm with leaflets like this:

Freeranger Eggs are renowned for being tasty, versatile and packed with goodness … and they are also green!

Freeranger Eggs are laid on an environmentally friendly farm by hens kept in small flocks. They lay their eggs in mobile roost houses and each flock is protected from predators by Maremma guard dogs. Choosing Freeranger Eggs helps you make a positive difference to the world – as well as the taste of the food you eat. Our strict food miles policy, use of solar energy and traditional farming techniques gives the farm a carbon footprint which is less than half that of most free range farms - and at no extra cost. Our carbon footprint is probably less than a third of the major cage farms.

More than half the 200 acre property is covered with remnant native vegetation and we encourage native grasses in our paddocks.

Make a difference – buy Freeranger Eggs
for more information see our website:

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