Turning Over a New Leaf; a New Eco-Friendly Collaboration at Burnbrae FarmsGeneral
Burnbrae Farms was founded in 1891 and is recognized today as a leader by Canada's agricultural and food industries. As a family owned and operated company, Burnbrae Farms strives to be at the forefront of environmentally friendly, sustainable practices with the goal of reducing its carbon footprint.
An Environmentally Friendly Agreement
In February 2017, Burnbrae Farms and the City of St-Hyacinthe entered into a three-year agreement to collect and process over 10,000 tonnes of organic matter from the Burnbrae Upton (Quebec) location. The city’s biomethanisation plant will transform the organic matter to biogas.
What is Biomethanisation?
Biomethanisation naturally occurs when organic matter decomposes under specific conditions, to produce biogas.
Saint-Hyacinthe, the largest plant in Canada to generate biogas, uses the organic matter provided by the Upton location and other factories in the area, to mix with city sewage and other by-products to produce biogas. The biogas is typically used by the city for heating purposes. The procedure cuts down considerably on the amount of organic waste intended for disposal, and substantially reduces the amount of greenhouse gasses produced by agri-food industries in the city. Previously, the organic matter that may have been destined for a landfill is now being converted to renewable energy.
“We have always had a strong focus on social responsibility and we’re proud to have entered into this agreement. It aligns with our objectives to continue to be at the forefront of environmental and sustainable practices, all while continuing to provide top quality egg products to Canadians” says Helen Anne Hudson, Director, Corporate Social Responsibility.
Hudson heads the Green-Team at Burnbrae Farms, a task-force dedicated to identifying and leveraging opportunities to cut down on the company’s carbon footprint and implementing environmentally friendly practices.
How does this Work at Burnbrae Farms?
Simply put, the process starts at the plant level, all organic matter which can be comprised of anything from egg shells, yolks, whites and wash water (utilized to clean the eggs), makes its way into a settling tank (or holding tank). Then, in the settling tank, the water is separated from the organic matter; the water is treated at the plant and the organic matter is sent to the biogas plant.
“This project is a source of pride for us, we’ve been working on it for a number of years” says Ty Diep, National Director of Quality Assurance at Burnbrae Farms, “It’s really is a win-win; it is first and foremost a great example of a practical eco-friendly initiative which also has the benefit of being cost-effective for the company”
Burnbrae Farms has grading, breaking and laying facilities in Five Canadian provinces. Burnbrae Farms has been producing shell eggs, liquid eggs and other innovative egg products for more than 70 years. It strives to be an example in the industry for healthy living, animal welfare, and environmental and community sustainability.
The Buzz About Bee Lawns
The struggling bee populations have gained a lot of attention in the news the last few years. You may have come across some of these articles and thought “That’s not happening, I see lots of bees flying around in the summertime”, but the reality is, wild bees in Canada are at a high risk of suffering devastating population declines. It has been estimated that about a quarter to a third of wild bee species in Canada are at risk of extinction due to climate change, insecticide use and habitat loss. This issue is not just isolated to Canada, bee populations are declining world-wide.
Solar Water Heating
At Burnbrae Farms we are proud to produce nutritious affordable eggs for Canadians while working to protect and enrich the environment. As part of that commitment, we closely monitor energy and water use, divert waste from landfills, recycle and compost eggshells, and reuse the water used to wash the eggs. We are constantly researching projects to look at ways to reduce our GHG energy use, one of these projects is the use of solar water heaters in a test run by the Poultry Operations team using solar energy to heat the water used in the office.