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Eating for the Planet – partnering with WWF to help transform how food is grown

Eating for the Planet – partnering with WWF to help transform how food is grown

Eating for the Planet – partnering with WWF to help transform how food is grown

One third of food is wasted annually, the food industry accounts for around 30% of global energy consumption and biodiversity, which is crucial for human life, is declining faster than at any time. Consumers, retailers and other stakeholders are increasingly asking for brands that are more sustainable and there is clear evidence that we need to change the way we consume and produce food; and waste less of it, if we are to reduce pressure on resources including land.

As CEO of Nomad Foods, I believe we have a huge opportunity to democratise sustainable  eating and play our part in minimising the impact of food production on the planet. We are proud to produce great tasting food that is good for people, good for the planet, affordable and available everywhere.  And we are committed to doing our part to support transformation across the food system.

Last year, we commissioned research that confirms a diet rich in vegetables, sustainably sourced fish and plant protein could reduce carbon emissions from food by up to 60%. And when you choose frozen over chilled or fresh, there is even more potential to lower the carbon footprint because frozen food significantly reduces food waste. We have a portfolio that is flexitarian at heart, focused around fish, vegetables and potatoes and our Green Cuisine range is now the fastest growing frozen meat-free brand in Europe. This puts us in a strong position to support a shift towards healthier and more sustainable eating.

To achieve this and ensure the way we source our produce is part of the solution to climate change, not part of the problem, we also need to focus on how we can develop more sustainable and resilient agricultural systems.

We have a target to source 100% of our vegetables and potatoes through sustainable farming practices by the end of 2025, with 77% of our own grown vegetables already verified as such.* We recognise the importance of working closely with our farmers and expert partners to achieve this goal and have introduced the Sustainable Agriculture Initiative Platform (SAI Platform) Farm Sustainability Assessment (FSA) as a benchmark. We are also identifying opportunities to cultivate biodiversity and develop innovative and scaleable solutions to reduce carbon emissions.

In the UK, we have  already seen what strong partnerships can achieve through the landmark Sustainable Landscapes Humber Project. Partnering with Yorkshire Water, Hull and Teeside universities and more than 50 farmers, we are looking at ways to improve soil health, reduce flooding and soil erosion and capture carbon from the atmosphere. In just 90 days, the programme has removed enough carbon to make 400  families of four in the UK carbon neutral for a year. While still in pilot phase, this is a fantastic example of how farming can be part of the solution to wider climate change and biodiversity loss.

Today I’m very proud to say we’re going a step further, by announcing a new partnership with WWF.

The partnership has two aims. The first is to focus on developing a blueprint to increase food production through “nature positive” farming solutions, while the second will measure the impact of biodiversity at farm level to increase pollinators. This will allow us to build a deeper understanding of how innovation in agriculture can help to reduce carbon emissions and enrich biodiversity – enabling us to make a positive contribution to the planet while serving nutritious, great tasting food that consumers love.

Information on our packs of famous Birds Eye peas and Findus vegetables is just the start of a much broader and deeper awareness-raising programme, to encourage consumers to make great choices for themselves and our planet.

I’m hugely excited to see what we can achieve as our partnership develops and look forward to sharing our learnings.

To find out more, please see our press release or visit the WWF website

Stéfan Descheemaeker, CEO