Home » Transforming Feather Waste into Sustainable bio-based products: Farrelly & Mitchell’s Collaborative Role in EU Funded UNLOCK project.
Wednesday, 24 January 2024

Transforming Feather Waste into Sustainable bio-based products: Farrelly & Mitchell’s Collaborative Role in EU Funded UNLOCK project.

Farrelly & Mitchell, a leader in agribusiness consulting, is pleased to showcase their significant contributions to the European Union-funded UNLOCK project. With extensive experience in sustainable agricultural practices, Farrelly & Mitchell have authored three comprehensive reports offering insights into transforming poultry feather waste into sustainable bio-based products. The reports analyse the industry’s current practices, economic impacts, and strategic opportunities across key European countries.

Farrelly & Mitchell's Strategic Role in the UNLOCK Project:

The reports led by Farrelly & Mitchell with contributions from partners, including Polish poultry processor CEDROB, provide a detailed analysis of the poultry breeding, meat processing, and rendering industries in key EU countries. They highlight feather feedstock availability, economic distribution among key actors, and challenges in establishing feather-based value chains:

  1. Report on Analysis of Feather Waste Sources & Management: Offers a comprehensive analysis of the poultry industry, detailing feather feedstock availability and the roles of rendering operators in valorisation.
  2. Report on EU's Feather-Based Economy & Challenges Ahead: Examines economic and logistical challenges within the feather value chain, focusing on aspects such as supply chain efficiency and adherence to quality standard within the industry.
  3. Report on Supply Chain Solutions for Target Countries: Suggests strategies for addressing challenges, focusing on transportation, feather quality, regulatory requirements, and market dynamics.

Farrelly & Mitchell have been crucial in understanding the dynamics and potential of feather waste valorisation, influencing the UNLOCK project’s development of sustainable feather-based value chains.

Overview of the UNLOCK Project:

Funded by the Bio-based Industries Joint Undertaking (BBI JU), the UNLOCK project involves 14 partners from seven EU countries and aims to create a feather-based bioeconomy. It focuses on producing functional bio-based materials for agricultural applications such as forest/seed trays, nonwoven geotextiles, mulch films, and hydroponic foams. These materials offer environmental benefits like biodegradation, nitrogen enrichment for soils, and zero waste at end-of-life. The project utilizes different processes - mechanical treatment, steam explosion, microbial fermentation - to valorise feathers based on the end products desired. Annually, Europe generates 3.6 million tonnes of poultry waste, which UNLOCK seeks to transform into high-value, sustainable agricultural products.


The reports offer critical insights into the challenges and potential solutions, guiding the industry towards more sustainable and circular practices. For access to the full reports, please visit the UNLOCK Project Resources.

You can follow the progress of UNLOCK on Twitter @UNLOCK_BBI and on LinkedIn UNLOCK_project. More details on the project’s objectives and achievements are available at