Egghead: Entrepreneur’s smart idea to crack down on food waste with new range of drinks
- Credit: Archant
At this time of year, most people are thinking of eggs of the chocolate variety. But an entrepreneur from the University of East Anglia has hatched plans to turn unwanted eggs into a business – and crack down on food waste at the same time.
Peck was founded by Matt Havers after he realised that hundreds of eggs produced by the 16,000 chickens on his family's north Suffolk farm were being thrown away for not being the right size, colour or texture to be sold.
He came up with a plan to use the eggs in high-protein drinks, and in June last year produced his first fruit smoothie, launching his range officially in January.
Mr Havers said: 'Cutting down on food waste is one of the biggest challenges we face as a farming industry – anything we can do to make our processes more effective and sustainable is really important.
'Chickens use about 60% of their daily calorie count to make an egg, so it's even more important we make use of their produce from their perspective.'
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The former psychological science student wants to approach retailers directly to source healthy eggs wasted by supermarkets – such as those rejected when one egg in a box is cracked.
The UK wastes 4% of its eggs before they even leave the shops, which equates to 1.4 million eggs daily.
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'At the moment we can't use eggs from my family farm as it requires some costly infrastructure to process them, but all the eggs in our drinks would have otherwise been disposed of at other farms,' he added.
'Transforming people's perceptions about consuming egg whites in this way has also been a hurdle as some people still associate raw eggs with the Rocky films!'
Protein drinks have steadily grown in popularity in recent years as consumers become more interested in high protein products for muscle building and weight management.
Peck drinks are already on sale on Amazon and through its own website, but there are plans for them to be stocked in the East of England Co-op and Musclefoods stores in the coming months.
The company has also received two grants from Eastern Agri-Tech Growth Initiative.
Mr Havers graduated from the UEA in 2009 wants to encourage students and graduates to pursue their business ideas and entrepreneurial passion.
He said: 'Always try something new. It's tougher to start, but if you truly have something unique then the pay-off is huge.
'Even if my business falls down around me, I can hold my head up because I know the journey that I've been through.'