Europe’s leading frozen foods company, Nomad Foods, and conservation organisation, WWF have 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.
The first project is a blueprint for landscapes that can increase food productivity through “nature-positive” farming approaches; the second is 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.
There will be on-pack information for consumers, explaining how Nomad Foods brands and WWF are “working together to protect bees, butterflies and plants”. They will roll-out initially across four countries, starting with iglo Belgium and Portugal and Findus Spain next month, followed by Birds Eye in the UK in June.
Nomad Foods CEO, Stefan Descheemaeker, 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.”
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.
WWF-UK’s chief executive, Tanya Steele added: “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 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.
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.