Frozen foods company, Nomad Foods has teamed up with conservation organisation, WWF to find agricultural solutions to tackling the climate crisis and reversing biodiversity loss.
The partnership will focus initially on two main projects centred around vegetable production. The first is a blueprint for landscapes that can increase food productivity through “nature-positive” farming approaches. The second project 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.
From June this year, all Birds Eye frozen foods will display on-pack communication for consumers, explaining how Nomad Foods brands and WWF are “working together to protect bees, butterflies and plants”. The on-pack communications will also be rolled out in Belgium and Portugal and Findus Spain from April.
Stéfan Descheemaeker, CEO of 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.”
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.
Last year, Birds Eye was named as one of the members of the Sustainable Landscapes Humber Project alongside Yorkshire Water, Future Food Solutions and Hull and Teesside universities.
The project will focus on “pop up rainforests”, whereby a diverse range of cover crops are planted over farmland to capture carbon from the atmosphere. Early trials also show that this process can increase soil health and organic matter by up to 40 tonnes per hectare, which in turn sequesters more than four tonnes of atmospheric carbon annually. Research suggests that improving organic soil matter by just 1% would enable agricultural land to store an extra 200,000 litres of water per hectare.
Nomad Foods is also working with a network of businesses to create “food waste champions” to help reduce the amount of food waste produced by the sectors. The network of food waste champions will work within their organisations to cut back on the 1.1 billion tonnes of food waste that is produced across the food and drink retail and manufacturing sectors.
Rosa Medea is Life & Soul Magazine’s Chief. She writes about lifestyle including sustainable and green living.