The chicken and the egg
HMSHost International has been investing in sustainable chicken farm Kipster in the Netherlands since November 2018, along with other partners. The result is the production of thousands of “climate-neutral” eggs every day.
The farm is committed to a “completely circular cycle”, ensuring the highest standards of animal welfare and producing the green-friendly eggs, some of which are used at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol.
Kipster was created in response to concerns about feeding the growing human population without overexploiting nature, excluding people or mistreating animals. Founder Ruud Zanders explains that without such a focus, the environment, animals, farmers, and children will pay the price.
“With Kipster we aim to set up a circular structure within our food system. We feed our chickens only with leftovers of products that we as humans no longer eat, such as misfired or broken rusks,” he says.
“In this way our animals contribute to a better environment and we prevent waste. We also raise the roosters for meat production instead of killing them immediately. This farm was created in cooperation with our partners and HMSHost is one of them. Because they purchase our eggs, roosters and chicken meat for the next five years, that gives us sufficient guarantee for the future and we can really get started with the construction of the farm.”
Committed to sustainability: The Kipster story is told in the above video
HMSHost International Vice President of Food & Beverage Bastiaan van Asten comments: “By working together with other parties, we can change the market standards as a collective. Moving towards sustainability is not just a passing trend, it is a necessary step in a chain of actions to secure a strong and healthy future for the planet as a whole.
“We need to be conscious consumers, careful corporates and respectful guardians of the world for the future generations. The sustainability strategy of HMSHost is a translation of the sustainability strategy of Autogrill, our parent company, and through this we focus on the sustainability goals of United Nations.”
The United Nations sustainability goals cover issues such as poverty, inequality, climate, environmental degradation, prosperity, and peace and justice.
HMSHost notes its ‘Start Somewhere’ global strategy which involves “taking many small actions to build a better future”. The company says it is also working with landlords to help contribute to their sustainability goals, “shaping a more environmentally responsible future in our industry”.
Of the Kipster project, HMSHost states: “With the projected global increase of food demands, especially on animal protein, we recognise the need to increase our alternative or plant-based menu items, and look at ways to source our product sustainably.
“Our guests are getting more interested in the background story of our products. It’s not only about the quality of the products, but also the impact they are making. Are we using local products? Are the chickens raised in an animal friendly farm? By investing in Kipster, we meet the highest welfare standard resulting in the eggs labelled as ‘planet proof’.”