The carbon-attuned chicken

June 1, 2011
/ Print / Reprints /
/ Text Size+
Gold’n Plump Poultry packages chickens at three price points, including its premium Just Bare brand, which touts its carbon consciousness with a certification seal from the Carbon Trust on the back of the container.

All chickens are not created equal, even when they’re raised and processed by the same company. That’s why Gold’n Plump (GNP) Poultry recently added a value brand to a product line that already included a namesake chicken and a premium bird that sports the first carbon disclosure statement on a US chicken.

Packages of Just Bare chicken from St. Cloud, MN-based GNP Co. bear a certification seal from the Carbon Trust, a not-for-profit created by the British government. Carbon Trust participants commit to reducing CO2 emissions through greater energy-efficiency and development of low-carbon technology. Just Bare is the second participating US food brand, following PepsiCo’s Quaker Oats.

Lifecycle analysis determined the carbon footprint for various cuts of Just Bare, accounting for every input from feed grains to post-consumption waste disposal. A whole Just Bare chicken’s carbon allotment is 380g, according to Julie Berling, director-brand advocacy, while boneless skinless breast fillets clock in at 900g.

Consumer research, including a 1,000-member customer panel, drove creation of Just Bare and the value-priced Sunny Roost brand, Berling says. A waste heat-recovery project at the firm’s recently expanded Arcadia, WI plant and a change in feed pellets to a more digestible shape that also reduces the mill’s energy inputs benefit all three brands, she notes, but sustainability claims are limited to the “less is more” Just Bare brand.

Package integrity is important across the board, and three of five customers rate GNP’s package quality superior to competing products. “We’re continually trying to find materials that are sustainable but also meet production demands,” says Berling, though results have been mixed. A linerless label that does away with a release liner or peel-away backer was judged a modest improvement. On the other hand, a switch to clear PET trays for select products was prompted by recyclability, but Berling said few recycling centers actually accept them.

Did you enjoy this article? Click here to subscribe to Food Engineering Magazine.

Recent Articles by Kevin Higgins, Senior Editor

You must login or register in order to post a comment.



Image Galleries

Fabulous Food Plant: Paramount Citrus

Learn more about this fabulous food plant in Food Engineering's article, found here.


Burns & McDonnell project manager RJ Hope and senior project engineer Justin Hamilton discuss the distinctions between Food Safety and Food Defense as well as the implications for food manufacturers of the Food Safety Modernization Act.
More Podcasts


Food Engineering Magazine

Food engineering magazine 2014 april cover

2014 April

Catch a preview of the Powder and Bulk Show in this April 2014 edition of Food Engineering. Also, be sure to check out a coffee stick making a real stir and a major advancement in the the pet food industry.
Table Of Contents Subscribe


Food Authentication Using Bioorganic Molecules

This text provides critical tools and data needed to augment routine food analysis and enhance food safety by aiding in the detection of counterfeit, and potentially deleterious, foods.

More Products

Clear Seas Research

Clear Seas ResearchWith access to over one million professionals and more than 60 industry-specific publications,Clear Seas Research offers relevant insights from those who know your industry best. Let us customize a market research solution that exceeds your marketing goals.

Food Master

Food Master Cover 2014Food Master 2014 is now available!


Where the buying process begins in the food and beverage manufacturing market. 

Visit to learn more.


FE recent tweets