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Versova’s Commitment to Environmental Sustainability

by Ross Dean

Sustainability can take many forms, as we near Earth Day, I want to focus on the environmental piece of sustainability. You may have heard the saying “Every day is Earth Day for a Farmer.” As cliché as that may sound, the gist of that statement rings true at Versova in a lot of ways.

Creating a Culture of Sustainability

Our robust values shape what we do each day, and our guiding principles focused on quality, compliance and continuous improvement have been at the core of building a culture of sustainability into our operations and practices. Our sustainability efforts are important not only for our business, but for our customers and the families who enjoy our farms’ eggs on their tables each day. Our ongoing sustainability practices allow us to continue producing high-quality products while leaving a legacy for the next generation.

Our Sustainability Practices in Action

Our sustainability practices take many forms on our farms, with the overall goal to reduce our use of natural resources and lessen our environmental footprint. We are stewards of the environment, and we are committed to preserving the land, air and water surrounding our farms.

Versova is working to lessen our environmental footprint by:

  • Reducing water usage in our egg processing plants and utilizing on-site lagoons to store water for later use.
  • Implementing manure management systems to remove manure quickly and efficiently from hen houses, storing manure in covered buildings for composting, and using manure as fertilizer for local crop farmers.
  • Improved flock feedings to ensure hens of all ages get the exact nutrients needed to be as healthy and productive as possible.
  • Improved housing systems to maximize hen health and productivity, and to reduce waste and energy use.

At Centrum Valley Farms in Iowa, we are working with NuOrganics to convert the manure produced by our hens to organic fertilizer in liquid and solid forms.

In Ohio, we are working on a similar manure management project with Ductor to separate liquid and solid byproducts from manure, capture nitrogen, create new natural liquid and pelletized fertilizer products and protect the state’s watersheds from the application of excess nutrients to farmland.

Also in Ohio, we are working with EggTech on new technologies that purify the naturally occurring calcium carbonate from discarded eggshells from our egg-breaking plants that produce liquid egg products. Calcium carbonate is a valued material for nutraceuticals, pharmaceuticals and personal care, and by repurposing the eggshells, they are kept out of landfills and the waste stream.

Building a Sustainable Future

We at Versova are committed to continuous sustainability improvements. As part of this commitment, we are a member of the U.S. Roundtable for Sustainable Poultry and Eggs (US-RSPE), a multi-stakeholder organization built to advance, support and communicate continuous improvement in sustainability for the value chain. We are currently helping to develop the first-ever sustainability reporting framework for the U.S. supply chains for chicken, turkey and eggs from producer to the final customer.

As opportunities to advance our thinking and our programs are identified through the US-RSPE Sustainability Framework and other sources, we will enhance and advance practices on our farms as needed. It’s the responsible thing to do for our hens, our employees, our customers and our business.