Environment-smart turkey production is the way ahead under a new collaborative project which involves UK turkey producers, feed companies and the British Poultry Council. (Press Release)
The consortium is co-ordinated by Jeremy Hall, Group Technical Director, Bernard Matthews Foods Ltd, and is working with Newcastle and Cranfield Universities on a project entitled 'Improving the efficiency and environmental impact of UK turkey meat production.' The project is co-funded by the industry and a grant from the government-backed Technology Strategy Board.
The aim of the UK turkey industry is to increase the production efficiency and sustainability of turkey meat production in the UK by reducing its environmental impact and increasingly scarce natural resource use.
The industry must first assess its current impacts to identify input/output activities that contribute significantly to the efficiency and have possibilities for improvement. These objectives will be achieved through the development and application of a novel Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) tool that assesses the impact of a product from conception to consumption. Such a tool will readily allow system changes to be implemented and benefits to be reaped.
The UK turkey industry relies heavily on imported protein sources. Experiments on the reliance of home grown protein sources and co-products will be conducted to generate novel data on production efficiency and environmental impact of specific system changes. Other system changes, such as novel ways of dealing with manure will also be considered. All these will feed back to the Life Cycle Assessment tool in order to quantify their environmental and economic impacts. This will enable the industry to address specific issues relevant to their business needs and assess the impact of anticipated changes in market trends, policy and regulations. This will differentiate their product at the point of retail sale and enhance the sustainability of turkey production in the UK.
Peter Bradnock, Chief Executive of the BPC: "This is an impressive and exciting project, with turkey producers showing real leadership on improving environmental performance and sustainability. The poultry industry has always worked hard on this front and has an impressive record, feeding the nation in a sustainable, responsible and highly efficient way. But we all need to continue evaluating and innovating as resources become increasingly scarce."
For more information see: Improving the efficiency and environmental impact of UK turkey meat production systems.
published on: 7th August 2012