National Pig Association - The voice of the British pig industry

Pig World logo

Home > News > COP26 - 'Croissant has higher carbon footprint than a bacon roll'

COP26 - 'Croissant has higher carbon footprint than a bacon roll'

2nd Nov 2021 / By Alistair Driver

The farming sector was always going to be under the spotlight at COP26, the massive international climate change summit taking place in Glasgow. 

COP26 bacon clipBut not necessarily in a bad way. In a clip that has gone down very well among the pig sector on social media this morning, BBC correspondent Adam Fleming said: 

"One thing I have learned this morning - they have got carbon counts on all the dishes on the menu - and it turns out that a croissant, which is plant-based, which we are all told is better for the environment, actually has a slightly bigger carbon footprint than a bacon roll. Who knew?"

Indeed. This was subsequently confirmed by images posted by Mr Fleming and others showing the carbon footprint of an Ayrshire bacon Scottish morning roll to be 0.4kg CO2, while a plant-based croissant with 100% Scottish ingredients was 0.5kg CO2.

While there is no more detail on the calculations at this stage, this is the sort of content, in the midst of everything else going on, that the pig industry was very happy to share on social media. 

BQP's Mark Jagger, who tweeted the original clip, observed: "Ohh, bacon roll better for the environment."

Nigel Bennet said: "So a croissant has a larger carbon footprint than a bacon roll Bacon 
@RedTractorFood @SaveGBBacon @BritishSave #Pigs #BuyBritish"

The account Pasturetec added: "The BBC reporting on #cop26 said that the food choices at the conference have carbon values on them and apparently a croissant has a higher carbon output than a bacon roll #smallwins #ukagriculture #cop26 @pigworldmag @AHDB_Pork"

Irish producer Shane McAuliffe noted: "We pig farmers knew this all along! #Sustainability #COP26"

Lee Thompson was also on the mark: "This is what the British pork industry needs! Good work getting it online @piggy_jags," he said. 

Carbon footprint 

While there, of course, a lot more to this than a label in the COP26 canteen and the farming industry will continue to face some tough questions, the pig sector is trying hard to improve its carbon footprint and get the 'good news' message out there to the supply chain and wider public. 

Ahead of COP26, two major UK pork processors set out their sustainability credentials, particularly regarding the sourcing of soya. 

Pilgrim’s UK has committed to using fully verified, zero-deforestation sustainable soya to feed its pigs by 2025. It claims to already have the lowest soya usage in pig diets in Europe, which it said has been validated for the last two consecutive years.

As part of the company’s 2030 sustainability plan, it has committed to going further in ensuring all soya in its pig diets is sourced through sustainable methods that do not harm the natural environment. It is also looking to reduce its soya usage, and is carrying out a series of trials to support the reformulation of its pigs’ diets, sourcing practical alternatives where possible.

Meanwhile, Cranswick has announced that it has received carbon neutral certification for all 14 of its eligible UK manufacturing sites, having already reduced its relative carbon emissions by 18% in the last financial year.  

In what it described as a combined pork and poultry industry first, Cranswick has also committed to purchasing 100% certified deforestation-free soya, which is expected to result in a 20% reduction in carbon compared to the previous system. 

Cranswick CEO Adam Couch said: “We recognised in 2018 that tackling climate change is everyone’s responsibility and, as a leading operator in the food industry it was incumbent upon us to play our part."