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Groundbreaking German farmer goes carbon neutral

Hornbrooker Hof has become the first carbon-neutral egg producer in Germany.

Over the years, it’s meant they’ve had to plough a lonely furrow. As pioneers of sustainable practices (and one of the few farms in the world to go climate-neutral), they’ve had to overcome immense challenges on the journey – both in financial hurdles and in the various criteria they have to meet.

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A family business with sustainable production at its core

Reducing the ecological footprint has always been at the core of Hornbrooker Hof’s values. After all, they felt, every farmer should do what they can to protect nature in the long term. And of course, the first step is taking a scythe to greenhouse gases.

To this end, the farm runs on photovoltaic solar energy, electric mobility and paperless communication as much as possible, as well as the shortest possible transport routes (through regional partners) and carbon neutral packaging.

And they’ve made quite a success of it. The eggs are packed in our 2x6 and 1x10 imagic2® and are now sold in more than 160 large and small stores throughout northern Germany.

Lena and Christoph Goldnick with their son, proudly presenting the new carbon neutral egg.

A green dream inspired by Hartmann

It was climate-neutral egg packaging that kindled the whole idea of sustainable egg production. When Hartmann first offered the cartons to them, thought cropped up, “Shouldn't our eggs be climate-neutral, too?”.

So Hartmann put them in touch with ClimatePartner (our long-standing associate and one of the world’s leading climate protection consultancies). And to cut a long story short, the primary objective of buying carbon-neutral egg packaging snowballed into an all-consuming passion to produce the perfectly climate-neutral egg. Fast forward a few years, and the entire production of their range is now climate-neutral - and that includes all forms of husbandry: barn, free-range and organic.

The farm is participating in a forest conservation project in Pará, Brazil.

So what does this mean, exactly? Well, we’re glad you asked, dear reader. It means that:

  1. All the emissions from their egg production and packaging have been calculated
  2. All possible emissions have then been reduced
  3. Wherever possible, all unavoidable emissions are compensated for by certified climate protection projects – one in Namibia (providing solar energy) and another one in Brazil (forest and nature conservation) - run by ClimatePartner.

How it’s communicated to the consumer

As usual, Hartmann has designed some very powerful packaging to drive home the message to the consumer. First off, the "climate neutral" logo is very visible on the top and/or front of each product. Each with the farm’s individual ID number, so the shopper can learn more about the climate neutrality of the product and the climate protection projects. Next, various vibrant promotional materials (e.g. roll ups, posters, various stickers) have been created to make sure the products stand out in-store.

But not content with just selling the first carbon-neutral egg, the owners are investing profits in the cause to motivate others to join the movement. True to their company motto - "Do good and talk about it" – they’re now evangelising the brand message in the press and on TV.

The cartons are marked with the "climate neutral" label.

“With Hartmann, we not only get high-quality sustainable egg packaging, but they also provide constant inspiration for how we can improve and continuously develop. Thanks to Hartmann's climate-neutral moulded fibre packaging, the ball was set rolling. We knew we wanted more and so our climate-neutral egg was born.”

Hans Peter Goldnick
Owner
Hornbrooker Hof

About Hornbrooker Hof

Hornbrooker Hof is a traditional family business founded more than 70 years ago by the Goldnick family and now run by the 3rd and 4th generation. Their focus has always been on species-appropriate animal husbandry, freshness and well-thought-out logistics. Besides their own egg production, Hornbrooker Hof works with partners who deliver the eggs to the farm to be packed there and sold under the same label.

07 April 2022
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