North Manchester-based MPS Egg Farms recently announced a partnership with The Kroger Co. (NYSE: KR) to produce the world’s first carbon-neutral, cage-free eggs for Kroger’s Simple Truth brand. On this week’s episode of the Ag+Bio+Science podcast, AgriNovus Indiana Chief Executive Officer and podcast host Mitch Frazier talks with Sam Krouse, vice president of business development for MPS Egg Farms.
They talk about what it takes to make eggs carbon-neutral, and how the process is a natural progression for the company.
“Sustainability is so closely tied to efficiency and just running a good business,” said Krouse. “I would say every farmer, every egg producer is focused on sustainability and good stewardship of our resources just as the normal course of doing business.”
Krouse says the company is constantly looking at production efficiencies as it pertains to feed and water.
“So today, compared to where our company started, we’re able to produce a dozen eggs with about 30% less water, and about 50% less feed. A huge efficiency growth in terms of the resources that we use to produce the same dozen eggs,” said Krouse.
Krouse says 60% of the carbon footprint comes from the production of feed grain. He says MPS is piloting a program to work with local farmers to source low carbon, more efficiently produced feed.
“We’re really trying to address that not only with our carbon neutral Kipster project, but across our whole portfolio,” Krouse said.
The Kipster system, as part of carbon neutral egg production for Kroger, uses an enclosed barn, but still offers an open environment with a partial sunroof and wooded-like environment that allows hens to roam.
Krouse has been an egg supplier for Kroger for more than 50 years. It is the largest egg supplier, accounting for half of the grocer’s eggs nationwide.
“From that great foundation of trust and mutual appreciation and respect, Kroger invited us to the table when they were exploring the Kipster project,” said Krouse.
MPS broke ground on its first of four barns in North Manchester in October. It expects to have Kroger’s Simple Truth eggs available in select stores in late 2022.
Listen to the full conversation with MPS Egg Farms when the podcast drops on Monday morning. Click here to access the Ag+Bio+Science podcast. To take advantage of the full lineup of Inside INdiana Business podcasts, click here.