Salmon farmers dominate protein sustainability index
Seven fish producers in top 10 as Mowi tops list for fifth year in a row
Salmon farmers have been listed in the top three places of a league table of sustainable protein producers, with another four salmon farmers in the top 10.
Mowi has topped the Coller FAIRR Protein Producer Index for the fifth year in succession, with Scottish Sea Farms co-owner Lerøy Seafood Group close behind in second place, and Norway and Canada fish farmer Grieg Seafood ranked third.
Faroes and Scotland salmon farmer Bakkafrost is ranked sixth, and SalMar – now the world’s second largest Atlantic salmon producer – is seventh. Two Chilean producers – Salmones Camanchaca and Multi X – are ninth and 10th respectively.
Each of the Top 10 companies has improved its ranking compared to last year, and both Bakkafrost and SalMar have been promoted from “medium risk” to “low risk”.
Mowi chief executive Ivan Vindheim said: “This shows again that Mowi is at the forefront of sustainable food production. I am proud and humbled to lead an organisation that is a recognised leader in sustainable food production.”
The company’s chief sustainability and technology officer, Catarina Martins, said: “Our ultimate goal is to unlock the potential of the ocean to produce more food for a growing world population in a way that respects our planet, so we are extremely proud to be named the most sustainable protein producer and see our hard work recognised once again.”
The Index features 60 of the world’s biggest listed meat, dairy and farmed fish producers and is designed to provide institutional investors with a means to assess how well key suppliers in the food chain are managing environmental, social and governance (ESG) risks:
Greenhouse gas emissions; deforestation and biodiversity; water use and scarcity; waste & pollution; antibiotics; working conditions; animal welfare; food safety; sustainability governance; alternative proteins.
The final company rankings are based on a set of risk factor scores. No company on the list has yet achieved “best practice” categorisation, which requires a score of at least 91%.
'Meat and dairy emissions rising'
Investment professional Jeremy Coller, who founded the FAIRR Initiative, wrote in the foreword to this year’s report that it’s clear that consumers around the world want to reduce their emissions and are changing the way they shop, live and vote accordingly.
It was therefore “extremely disappointing that the sixth annual FAIRR Protein Producer Index shows that the opposite is happening”, said Coller. “Among the 20 largest listed meat and dairy firms, disclosed emissions are still rising year-on-year.
“Perhaps worst of all, those responsible aren’t just rogue outliers: companies that supply household names like McDonald’s and Walmart have contributed to an increase of almost three per cent in absolute reported emissions over the past 12 months.
“Investors should think long and hard about what this means for the risk profile of their portfolios. What choices will consumers make at the till when they discover that their own environmental efforts are being negated by the companies that supply their favourite supermarket or fast food chain?”
Bad practice 'not inevitable'
He added that the examples of the higher-ranked companies showed that bad practice is not an inevitable part of the food supply ecosystem.
“It’s impossible to overstate the importance of the FAIRR Protein Producer Index in driving improvements [to a more sustainable global food system]. By shining a light on an often secretive industry, it has bridged the knowledge gap among investors and given them solid data and evidence with which they can engage companies on the real business risks and opportunities offered by the transition,” wrote Coller.
“It has also highlighted the enormous risks that some producers face if they don’t clean up their act. Because in 2023, they have no excuse for going backwards. Investors, consumers and regulators rightly expect better of the companies that put food on our shelves – and the Index gives investors a valuable tool with which to hold them to account.”
The report can be downloaded here.