Research into the environmental impact of broiler and egg production systems is underway, in a project funded by DEFRA LINK, the Scottish Government and DARD Northern Ireland.
As part of the second stage of a multi-partner project, researchers will be looking at how producers can reduce their impact on the environment.
Researchers are using computer modelling to look at environmental impacts of the sector, known as Lifecycle Assessment.
They are exploring a wide range of possibilities including diet, husbandry and new technologies to increase energy efficiency.
Partners in the three-year project include:
• Newcastle, Cranfield and Nottingham universities
• Moy Park
• O’Kane Poultry
• Noble Foods
• The Soil Association
• The NFU
The first stage of the project analysed both broiler meat and egg performance across a range of production systems.
“This exciting project will provide invaluable information to the industry on how it can reduce its impact on the environment, something that’s of increasing importance to consumers as we strive to produce tasty, high-quality and affordable protein for a growing global population,” said NFU poultry vice-chairman Nigel Joice.
“One of the key outputs from the project will be the development of a user-friendly calculation toll to allow poultry farmers to estimate their environmental impact and model how this would change with adjustments to their husbandry or system,” he added.