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During egg production the feed accounts for the majority of the climate impact, around 80%, and the livestock accounts for around 20%. It takes between 2.0 to 2.2 kg of feed to produce 1 kg of eggs. However, a hen lays many eggs in her lifetime so the feed she eats is relatively efficiently converted into protein. The emissions of greenhouse gases are approximately 1.5-2.5 kg of CO

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e per 1 kg of eggs.

The production of eggs in conventional production occurs mainly in two ways; either by laying hens that live in furnished cages or by laying hens that live in free-range systems. The research, as assessed by the National Veterinary Institute, has shown that both furnished cages, where hens are kept in smaller groups, and free-range systems, where the hens live in very large groups, satisfy established functional requirements and animal welfare regulations stipulating that animals should be treated well and protected from unnecessary suffering and disease.

According to Directive 1999/74/EC, as of 1 January 2012 all laying hens must have access to furnished cages with nest boxes, scratching areas and perches. In Sweden the use of battery cages has been prohibited since 2004, when the last exemption expired, even though EU-wide legislation allowed it within the EU up until 1 January 2012.

Organic egg production differs from conventional production through the hens having access to the outdoors and the feed being organically produced. They also have more room in the pens, more space on perches and in nest boxes, daylight apertures and roughage.

In Sweden, the consumption of eggs has increased somewhat in recent years. The self-sufficiency rate in eggs is high, approx. 90%. Imports consist mainly of eggs contained in processed foods.

Subject of procurement

Eggs with environmental and animal protection requirements

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