Mowi, previously known as Marine Harvest, is the world's largest producer of farmed salmon both by volume and revenue. Headquartered in Norway, the company is active in 25 countries and employs over 14,000 people. Mowi is a vertically integrated company, owning its supply chain from broodstock and genetic selection to processing and sales. Mowi predominantly focuses on salmon farming, though some of its subsidiaries process and sell a variety of wild-caught seafood products.
Governance and management of stewardship practices
Across its four pillars – Profit, People, Planet and Product – Mowi sets out a detailed sustainability strategy with specific material drivers under each pillar, their associated targets (such as energy intensity or quantity of treatment uses), actions taken and its progress, which is provided on an annual basis from a 2010 baseline figure through to 2018. The company displays leadership in robust and transparent reporting across environmental and social sustainability factors.
Mowi discloses detailed information around its core supply chain activities, policies and approaches, leading the benchmark in transparency. It implements a holistic sourcing policy that clearly outlines how the company plans to ensure the sustainability of both land and marine feed ingredients through third-party standards.
Mowi publicly discloses detailed data regarding the use of antibiotics and chemicals to remove lice, a widespread parasitic problem in the salmon industry. This information often contains site-level specifics and is publicly available on the company’s website under its own Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) dashboard. The data is also published on the Global Salmon Initiative website, where country-level information can be found. Furthermore, the company publicly reports on the deaths of wildlife resulting from its operations.
Aquaculture feed ingredients
Mowi leads its industry peers by disclosing the precise breakdown of ingredients in its feed, including the species, country of origin and volumes. Overall, Mowi is committed to relying on feed from well-managed sources, as it seeks to exclusively source feed ingredients that have received third-party certification by either IFFO – The Marine Ingredients Organisation or the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC).
Mowi stands out for its health and safety practices. In 2018, it launched the “Talk Safety Be Innovative” campaign to emphasise workplace safety, as well as to mitigate and respond to work-related injuries, occupational health issues, accidents and fatalities. Through its global safety program, BrainSafe, the company provides training to employees, suppliers and contractors, where it demonstrates various approaches to minimise risk in its operations.
Mowi performs well in the area of policy commitments on human and labour rights by ensuring that all of its workers have contracts and by recognising workers’ rights to join labour unions and participate in collective bargaining agreements. However, the company is not transparent in regard to how it monitors working conditions, what procedures are in place to report a grievance or if any remediation mechanisms related to adverse human rights impacts have been established.
While Mowi demonstrates transparency in reporting by providing detailed quantitative information on its environmental footprint, including KPIs, targets and progress compared to a 2013 baseline, there is still significant scope for improvement across several key metrics. Despite a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions between 2017 and 2018 as a result of mechanisms such as upgrading drying equipment in its feed operations, Mowi’s emissions figures have increased overall since 2016. Moreover, the company has a product development partnership with IKEA to use salmon and cod off-cuts, yet it does not disclose the volume of food waste re-used as a result.
Mowi reports 783,323 escaped fish in 2018, which is significantly more than any other salmon farming company in the benchmark. Escaped fish are problematic given that they can lead to interbreeding with wild populations or become invasive. While the company aims for zero escapes and details several actions it is taking to limit the risk of escapes, the results indicate that it should increase its efforts.
Mowi displays notable practices in how it interacts with local communities. In addition to its commitment through the ASC standard to engage with local communities impacted by its farming operations, it also contributes to local employment and provides financial support towards activities for local communities, which is channeled through the Mowi Fund. The company has stated in its 2018 Integrated Annual report that it will develop a more systematic approach for collecting data on its community engagement.