The Birds Eye, Findus and Iglo owner called on industry and regulators across Europe to consider a more comprehensive end-to-end approach to Life cycle assessment (LCA) studies – which included food loss and waste impacts – to improve transparency for consumers and drive business to reduce carbon emissions.
Nomad partnered with impact assessment specialist PRé Sustainability to facilitate a more in-depth LCA study for 22 of its products to better demonstrate what it was calling for.
The study incorporated new data on retailer and consumer food waste and primary data for all processing steps, in an effort to improve the accuracy of the assessment – with the results peer reviewed by leading experts.
Ellen Meijer, consultant at PRé Sustainability, said: “This is one of the most elaborate frozen food LCA studies ever done, covering not only a wide range of frozen food products and their alternatives, but also approaching them all in a consistent methodological manner.
“Based on this study, we are now in the unique position to draw conclusions about the carbon footprint of frozen food products compared to their non-frozen alternatives and generalize these conclusions across the frozen food category."
Food loss and waste
The study found that retail and consumer food loss and waste – data which is not generally included in previous LCA assessments of food – played an important part of the product life cycle and had a ‘significant effect’ on a product’s overall environmental impact.
Nomad claimed retail and consumer food waste equated to an estimated 160m tonnes and 17.25m tonnes of CO2 in the EU and UK respectively.
Stéfan Descheemaeker, Nomad Foods chief executive, added: “We encourage the food industry, retailers and regulators to adopt a wider scope for LCAs as standard, taking the whole product life cycle into account.
“Based on the ground-breaking work that our teams have undertaken with life cycle experts PRé Sustainability, we can see there are significant benefits to frozen food in terms of longer-term food preservation and reduced food waste.”