Formerly named Nomad Holdings, Nomad Foods became a publicly listed company in 2016, after acquiring Iglo Group and Findus Group’s continental European businesses in 2015. It is now one of the largest frozen food companies in Europe. Nomad Foods manufactures, sells and distributes a range of products across 13 European countries, with its largest markets located in the United Kingdom, Italy, Germany, Sweden and France.
Governance and management of stewardship practices
Nomad Foods focuses its sustainability efforts on three main areas: better sourcing, better nutrition and better operations. Its sustainability strategy sets time-bound targets across all three areas that cover both environmental and social issues. Having launched its first sustainability report in 2017, the company took its sustainability efforts group-wide in 2018 and is committed to achieving its targets throughout the entirety of its supply chain by 2025, with the full supply chain focus taking the company beyond the scope of many of its peers.
In 2018, Nomad Foods states that it reduced overall greenhouse gas emissions by 2 percent per tonne of goods compared to its 2017 emissions. The company also provides detailed information about the mechanisms it used to do so. Moreover, Nomad Foods says it uses 98.7 percent natural gas in its operations. The company’s Tønsberg factory in Norway, for example, is using renewable biogas for half of its supply (saving approximately 2,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent), and its Lowestoft factory in England switched to 100 percent renewable energy in 2018. In addition to its high levels of transparency in its own operations, Nomad Foods reports on efforts to reduce emissions throughout its supply chains. For instance, the company is piloting a method where its products are transported using rail freight instead of diesel road transport, thus projecting to avoid 271 kilograms of carbon dioxide equivalent emitted per container.
Nomad Foods indicates that 90 percent of its fish comes from suppliers who are either abiding by FAO guidelines on best fishing and farming practices or are certified by third-party standards, such as those set by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) or the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC). The company aims to reach 100 percent of certified fish in its sales by 2025. Already in 2018, Nomad Foods doubled its sales of ASC-certified products compared to its 2017 and launched eight new ASC-certified products. Furthermore, the company is committed to eliminating any illegal, unregulated or unreported (IUU) wild capture fish from its supply and states that it refrains from buying fish from depleted or recovering fisheries.
Since Nomad Foods does not carry out fishing or aquaculture production itself, rather only sources seafood products, the company aims to source sustainably. A high percentage of its sources are already certified by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) and the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC). However, compared to its peers, the company could be more proactive in working with its suppliers to address their ecosystem impacts, for instance in important issues such as mitigating bycatch or ghost gear.
Implementation of human and labour rights policies
Nomad Foods commits to respecting and protecting human and labour rights through its code of business principles, modern slavery act statement and supplier code of conduct. While the company reports to have a helpline where its employees can report on violations of the code of business principles, Nomad Foods lacks transparency around the procedures it has in place to identify, prevent, mitigate and remediate any adverse human rights impacts in its operations.
Although Nomad Foods has some capacity building activities, the company could disclose more information about all of its activities involving local communities and show whether it has policies in place to increase local hiring or include small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in its operations or supply chains. It should disclose how its operations benefit the livelihoods of people living in areas surrounding its operations.