Supermarket chain Asda have announced the launch of a new range of low carbon beef as part of their latest efforts to reduce their store’s environmental impact and increase their green credentials. The addition of the new product range comes as part of a programme the company has introduced in order to calculate the carbon footprint of the meat on its shelves.
The range of beef is sourced from bull calves born into dairy herds that would usually either be exported or shot at birth due to their low value to dairy farmers. Asda source the meat from British dairy farmers who raise the calves to 9-11 months old. Compared to standard beef that is usually slaughtered at 24 months old, Asda claim their low carbon beef has a carbon footprint that is up to a third less than other beef.
Cattle have long been criticised for their contribution to carbon emissions through the gases they emit, and Asda advises that by slaughtering the bulls used in their new range at a younger age, this is a significant aspect of the reduction in the animals’ carbon footprints. In addition, because the animals are smaller, they are easier to divide into portions to meet customers’ needs. Prices will also be cheaper, therefore appealing to shoppers especially with the current economic climate and many people watching the purse strings.
Asda’s agriculture development manager, Pearce Hughes said,
“We’ve been working on this programme for a number of years and are proud to finally see it come into fruition. We wanted to create a low carbon beef that was both accessible to our consumers and viable for our farmers. Should the product prove successful, we could be looking to extend it into our successful ‘Respectful’ low carbon range of free range eggs.”