Morrisons has launched a line of "planet-friendly" carbon-neutral eggs in its stores, which come from hens fed on insects reared on food waste.

The supermarket said it is the first to launch a line of carbon-neutral eggs, which are the first product as part of the retailer’s drive to be directly supplied by zero emission British farms by 2030.

The hens laying the eggs are fed a soya-free diet, including insects fed on food waste from Morrisons’ bakery, fruit and vegetable sites, using an insect “mini farm” container from British start-up Better Origin, installed on site.

Morrisons said insects are a natural part of chickens’ ancestral diet and have no negative impact on the quality, shelf life or taste of the eggs.

Wharfedale Observer: A box of the Plant Friendly eggs (PA)A box of the Plant Friendly eggs (PA)

Cutting out the soya avoids the emissions associated with clearing forests and other lands to grow the crop in places such as Brazil, and the transport pollution from shipping the feed.

The farm where the first stock of planet-friendly eggs are coming from also has a large wind turbine, solar panels and a programme to offset any remaining emissions on the farm, with a fifth of its land planted with trees.

A report by Cambridge University, which looks at the production of the eggs, including the insect growing unit, food waste transport, sourcing of locally grown grain and hen housing and care, has shown they are carbon neutral.

Morrisons said the product is the first to feature the British Lion Egg green stamp to indicate the lower environmental impact to customers.

Sophie Throup, head of agriculture at Morrisons, said: “This is our first carbon-neutral product and there will be many more to come. It’s all part of our drive to be directly supplied only by ‘zero emission’ British farms by 2030.

Wharfedale Observer: The eggs will be available in a certain number of stores at first (PA)The eggs will be available in a certain number of stores at first (PA)

“We know our customers consider the environmental impact of the food they eat and want affordable zero emission produce.

“Eggs are a regular weekly purchase for most households and so we’re thrilled that, after 18 months of hard work with our farmers, these eggs are finally hitting our shelves.”

The free range eggs will initially be available in 50 Yorkshire stores, and Morrisons’ new lower environmental impact store in Little Clacton, Essex, with a national rollout planned for 2023. They cost 30p each or £1.50 for a pack of six.

The retailer hopes sustainable beef, lamb, fruit and vegetables from net zero carbon farms will follow.