Europe’s leading frozen foods company, Nomad Foods and WWF, the world’s leading conservation organisation, today announced a partnership that seeks to find agricultural solutions to the “triple challenge” of feeding a growing global population, while tackling the climate crisis and reversing biodiversity loss.
The partnership will focus initially on two main projects centred around vegetable production. One, a blueprint for landscapes that can increase food productivity through “nature-positive” farming approaches; the other, dedicated to measuring the impact of biodiversity at farm level to target interventions and find new ways of increasing pollinators such as bees and other species.
On pack communication for consumers, explaining how Nomad Foods brands and WWF are “working together to protect bees, butterflies and plants” will roll-out initially across four countries, starting with iglo Belgium and Portugal and Findus Spain in April 2021, followed by Birds Eye in the UK in June 2021.
Stéfan Descheemaeker, CEO, Nomad Foods, said: “We want to help our consumers eat more sustainably by providing widespread access to great tasting food that is better for people, better for the planet and affordable. To support this, we are committed to sourcing 100% of our vegetables and potatoes through sustainable farming practices by 2025 with 77% of our own grown vegetables already verified as such.* Biodiversity loss is accelerating around the world. While improving biodiversity has been a focus for us and many of the farmers that we partner with for a number of years, I am excited that our collaboration with WWF will help us to extend our knowledge and create a much wider impact beyond our supply chain.”
Tanya Steele, Chief Executive of WWF-UK said: “Changing the way that we produce and consume food is at the heart of WWF’s mission to build a sustainable future for people and nature. Our food system is one of the biggest drivers of climate change and nature loss, so it’s a system we simply must change. That’s why we’re delighted to be working in partnership with Nomad Foods, not only to reduce the environmental impact of farming, but also to encourage people to eat a more plant-rich diet that’s healthy for them and for the planet.”
Nomad Foods is continually building on its sustainable farming standards in line with global best practices. It uses the Sustainable Agriculture Initiative Platform (SAI Platform) Farm Sustainability Assessment (FSA) as a benchmark for farmers and the target is for all suppliers to be verified as minimum silver and progress towards gold. In October 2020, Birds Eye became the first farm management group in the UK and the first ever in frozen food globally, to be verified as FSA Gold Level for sustainable food production. In February 2021, iglo Germany was verified as FSA Gold for all “own grown” spinach, herbs and autumn vegetables. *77% of Nomad Foods’s total vegetable and potato volumes are grown in line with minimum FSA Silver Level and Nomad Foods expects to have more than 70% of “own grown” vegetables at FSA Gold by the end of 2021.
Nomad Foods is also a partner in The Sustainable Landscapes Humber Project – a collaboration with Yorkshire Water, Future Foods Solutions and Hull and Teeside University, announced in 2020. Over 40 farmers who grow peas for Birds Eye UK are planting a diverse range of cover crops to capture carbon, reduce flooding and improve soil health. (See notes to editors for further information.)