Details of a new project that identifies the total carbon footprint of pig and poultry products were revealed on the first day of the British Pig and Poultry Fair at Stoneleigh Park.

The study by the Newcastle Business School at Northumbria University has been commissioned by Associated British Nutrition (ABN). It aims to take the carbon footprint process beyond the farmgate, through the whole supply chain, to the end consumer for the first time.

Speaking at a press briefing project leader Professor David Oglethorpe explained: “Like other life cycle analysis (LCAs), we are mapping the supply chains for a selection of pig and poultry products by tracing them through the manufacture and growing of inputs, primary production operations, first and second tier processing and then through packaging, presentation and distribution.

“Previous LCA’s haven’t necessarily followed real case studies, whereas this has enabled us to focus down on the environmental burdens within some key supply chains and identify where the major CO2-equivalents contributions actually are. By doing this, we now know what the carbon footprints of these product are and more importantly how to reduce them.”

It will provide ABN with answers and solutions to help producers and processors as they come under increasing pressure from the retailers to reduce their carbon footprints, he said.

This concept will now be taken forward by a PhD student, who will be sponsored by ABN, at the school over the next three years. This will add academic credibility, validation and continued development, not just for agriculture but for other industries and supply chains too, added Professor Oglethorpe.

Later in the day in a Poultry World sponsored lunchtime Q&A session attended by industry leaders and DEFRA junior DEFRA minister Lord Rooker, the minister gave his views on the main issues affecting poultry producers. These included the possible use of meat and bonemeal in poultry diets, reducing IPPC thresholds so bringing many smaller flocks under the rules and the possible lifting of EU imports of poultry from the US – the so called “chlorinated chicken”.

He went as far as admitting that his personal views was that “we shouldn’t touch it [chlorinated chicken] with a barge pole and should resist attempts to allow its entry into the EU market. Watch the video to see the full Q&A session.

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