Canadian Poultry Magazine

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Aviagen illustrates its CO2 reduction

Company reports significant feed conversion ratio improvement.


February 3, 2022
By Canadian Poultry magazine

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How can the food production chain meet the needs of the world’s ever-growing communities without overwhelming the planet? Aviagen  addresses this question through “Breeding Sustainability.”

Sustainable poultry breeding contributes to a decrease in carbon emissions through a continuous improvement in biological efficiency, fitness and welfare traits. Feed Conversion Ratio (FCR) or the rate at which feed is converted to body weight is a key indicator of biological efficiency and has the greatest direct impact on the industry’s carbon footprint.

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Due to an FCR improvement of 1.5-2.0 points per year, Aviagen contributes to a one per cent year-on-year carbon footprint reduction. The video above tells the story of the “FCR Advantage” through a balanced breeding approach, resulting in a yearly reduction in the poultry industry’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

The global population is growing. The United Nations (UN) estimates just over 8.5 billion people by 2030, and the world will face the challenge of providing food for everyone.

The OECD-FAO Agricultural Outlook 2021-2030 predicts that meat production will need to rise by 44 million metric tonnes by 2030, with half of the increase supplied by poultry.

The food industry currently contributes close to 25 per cent of the world’s annual GHG emissions, and of this amount, poultry meat is responsible for about six per cent.

As a result of FCR improvements, the modern broiler generates 50 per cent less carbon footprint than the bird in 1970, and fast forwarding to 2030, the bird of the future will create a 15 per cent lower carbon footprint than the bird of today.

In 2020, 133.3 million metric tonnes of poultry meat were produced globally, at a carbon cost of six kilograms CO2 for every kilogram of meat. That translates to 800 million tonnes of CO2.

“To illustrate the impact with a hypothetical example, based on our FCR gains, if every bird were an Aviagen bird, this amount would be reduced by 8 million metric tonnes per year. To put it in perspective, this is the carbon equivalent of flying around the world on a Boeing 747-400 5,906 times,” explaines Aviagen’s Director of Global Genetics Dr. Santiago Avendaño.