Supporting the longevity of Canadian farms and communities requires a commitment to living and working sustainably. Here’s how egg farmers are doing that.
Whether it’s a spicy breakfast burrito or a comforting carbonara, there are plenty of reasons to feel good about including eggs in your diet. Not only are you purchasing a nutritious food source, but you’re also supporting local farmers, communities and many others connected to our country’s food system.
This said, environmental concerns and climate change are top of mind for many Canadians—and that’s translating into what we put on our plates. According to research from Deloitte, 71 per cent of Canadian consumers say it’s important to understand where their food comes from, and a similar number prefer to buy from retailers with strong sustainability practices.
Hatching a sustainable plan
Unlike the age-old debate about whether the chicken or egg came first, there’s no question that true sustainability starts with how your food is produced. When it comes to supporting a green economy and a healthy local food supply, the commitment of Canadian egg farmers to sustainable practices means you can feel good about purchasing eggs.
“Eggs are the most efficient, low environmental impact form of animal protein in the world,” says Tim Lambert, CEO of Egg Farmers of Canada, citing the World Resources Institute’s Protein Scorecard, which evaluates impacts such as greenhouse gas emissions and land use of various foods.
For Egg Farmers of Canada, a key way to empower egg farmers to play a front and centre role in sustainable agriculture starts with giving them the tools they need to assess their farming practices and the resources to embrace net-zero building practices.
This includes initiatives such as the National Environmental Sustainability Tool, which
enables farmers to assess their farm’s environmental footprint and to set sustainability goals. “This tool makes it possible for farmers to measure, monitor and manage their environmental footprint by reviewing a sustainability assessment of their farm and benchmarking their results against similar farms,” says Lambert.
Building resilient farms
For Roger Pelissero, a third-generation egg farmer, focusing on sustainability is more than a business initiative—it’s a personal imperative.
“Our family has been farming for half a century, and now both my son and daughter are continuing the legacy as egg farmers. Both grew up on the farm, and I love that we get to work together,” Pelissero says.
“Sustainability means evolving our practices in a way that ensures the long-term viability of my farm. This involves looking at my entire farming operation holistically, from how I take care of my hens to how I treat the land, support my local community and make choices that allow me to live sustainably every day.”
Among his practices, Pelissero has deployed smart technologies to monitor flocks, barn temperature and water consumption and identify opportunities to reduce waste. “Not only is it the right thing to do, it will help create a bright future for the next wave of agricultural leaders,” says Pelissero. “The choices we’re making today mean family farms like mine will thrive for generations to come and my son and daughter will be able to continue producing the eggs we know Canadians love.”
These individual farm initiatives add up: over the last five decades, the Canadian egg industry has cut its overall environmental footprint in half. “But this is only one chapter of our sustainability story,” Lambert says. “We see a future where the popularity of eggs continues to grow, not only because they are a staple in our diets and offer a strong nutritional profile, but also because Canada’s egg farmers are increasingly meeting new benchmarks in environmental conservation.”
From farms like Pelissero’s to your kitchen table, the future of Canada’s egg industry is one we can all feel good about. For more information about Canada’s egg farmers, eggs and sustainable egg farming, visit eggfarmers.ca.