Carbon Neutral Chicken|
Sustainability has always been one of our core family business values. Early in our farming journey through the school of hard knocks (droughts, plagues of grasshoppers, indebtedness and low grain prices),we realized that whatever we did, it had to be economically, environmentally and socially sustainable or we wouldn't be farming long.
That led us to completely transform our farm --- what we grew, how we grew it and how we operated.
Over the last 25 years, we tested wind energy, invested in solar energy to provide 25% of our electrical needs, and planted thousands of trees to reduce our carbon footprint.
All along, one of our big, hairy audacious goals was to become carbon neutral in our operation.
The agri-food indudstry is responsible for one quarter of the world's greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions (visit https://ourworldindata.org/environmental-impacts-of-food).
We felt it was very important to take stock of how we are doing on our carbon reduction journey and become a part of the solution.
We knew we could not control or account for the GHG output of our suppliers from whom we purchase feed, packaging and ingredients in our supply chains, but we could estimate our direct carbon emissions and set the scope of the project accordingly.
Thus, our calculations reflect the carbon we emit in our direct operations i.e. raising chickens, processing them in our butcher shop, cutting and processing steers, hogs, sausage and other value added products i.e. it covers Scope 1 and 2 emissions. The amount of carbon emitted from activities outside our ownership (Scope 3) and whether our excess carbon sequestration can cover it is yet to be determined.
So, in the summer and fall of 2022, we walked our farmyard and counted all the trees --- all 4185 of them. We did not count our acres of undisturbed grassland but those would count as a carbon sink as well --- we consider it a bonus!
Then, we had to figure out our GHG levels. We found a carbon calculator tool at TreeCanada that helped us calculate our current level of emissions from raising and processing chickens, cutting red meat and making value added products.
Using historical natural gas and electricity consumption, vehicle mileage and air flight calculations (which are personal not business flights), we wanted to cover as many bases as possible, we calculated our total carbon emissions at 291.13 tCO2e which required 1611 trees to offset our emissions.
With 4185 trees on our land and 1611 required to offset our 2022 emissions, we had indeed achieved NET ZERO carbon emissions on our farm. In fact, we sequester more carbon than we emit!
We can confidently say that the chicken we produce emits net zero carbon.
The meat industry has a bad reputation for environmental degradation. There is definitely an argument to be made for that.
However, we would say that not all meat is created equally. You can eat meat AND be environmentally responsible.
It comes down to knowing where your food comes from, how it was produced and making your choices.
We want you to feel good about the meat you eat. We hope that by producing net zero chicken, you can feel confident about your decision to eat Pine View Farms' meats.
It's just another way we're working to make meat better. For you. For our world.