Mowi tops sustainability scoring – E24

Mowi goes all the way to the top in the selection of the world’s most sustainable protein producers. Meat suppliers to giants such as McDonald’s and Nestlé are being beaten.

SUSTAINABLE FOOD: Salmon farming generates low greenhouse gas emissions compared to other protein production. The picture shows a Mowi locality at Beitveitnes.

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byoutline Speaks

Published:Updated: November 11, 2020 7:13 AM, Published: 11 November 2020 06:00

Mowi is the most sustainable stock you can buy in protein production.

This is the opinion of the investor network FAIRR, which with its annual Collier FAIRR Protein Index ranks the world’s largest listed protein producers on sustainability.

The John Fredriksen-dominated group is the world’s largest salmon farmer, with fjord-based production in Norway, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Canada, Chile and the Faroe Islands.

The protein index for 2020 also includes industry traps such as Faroese Bakkafrost in third place, Grieg Seafood in sixth place and Lerøy in eighth place.

In total, there are seven salmon farmers in the top 20.

– There is no doubt that farming is a climate winner compared to meat production, so it is not surprising that more farming companies do well in this award, says Mowi CEO Ivan Vindheim.

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Mowi to the top in sustainability scoring

– Undermines climate commitments

The aquaculture industry is often criticized for conditions related to pollution, fish welfare, escape from the cages and negative impact on wild salmon.

However, the FAIRRS review of 60 listed animal protein producers globally, with a total market value of $ 338 billion, suggests that there are others who have significantly more pigs in the forest.

The companies are ranked in relation to ten ESG-related criteria, including greenhouse gas emissions, deforestation, antibiotic use and working conditions.

For example, FAIRR’s report states that 86 per cent of the large meat and dairy suppliers have not set meaningful targets for reducing greenhouse gases.

“This undermines the climate commitments of the major food giants who have set their own ambitious climate goals,” the report states.

For example, McDonald’s will cut the carbon footprint of its Big Macs and Chicken Nuggets by 31 percent by 2030, but still uses suppliers in China, the US and Russia who do not report their own emissions or have set targets to reduce them.

– If global animal husbandry were a country, it would account for the second highest emission of greenhouse gases. FAIRR data shows that three out of four global meat and dairy giants hide the extent of their climate emissions, says Jeremy Coller, founder of the FAIRR network.

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Stock market comment: You have to be strong in the faith to buy Mowi now

INVESTMENT IN SUSTAINABILITY: – We experience that the work we put in around this is recognized by the capital market, says Mowi CEO Ivan Vindheim.

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byoutline Lise Åserud / NTB

Depends on the sector this year

The FAIRR network has gathered investors with over $ 25,000 billion under management. The main purpose of the index is to enable and support decisions for investors in the protein sector.

This is the second year in a row that Mowi tops the list. At the same time, the share hangs by comparable companies so far in 2020, in what has been a demanding and corona-marked year for the industry.

Adjusted for dividends, Mowi is down 20 percent so far this year, while the Seafood Index OSLSFX is down 14 percent.

– Do you feel that you get paid for investing in a strong sustainability profile among investors?

– We experience that the work we put in around this is recognized by the capital market. We also believe that ESG will become more and more important in the future, says Vindheim.

The salmon share that comes out weakest on FAIRR’s ranking, Salmar in 20th place, is also the one that has shown the strongest development in the sector in 2020 with an increase of 13 percent.

– Do the different positions in the index reflect real differences in how sustainably the salmon farmers operate, or does it rather show how hard each individual company strives to do well in this ranking?

– This type of overview says not only something about how sustainable the operation of a company is, but also how strong the will and goal of driving continuous development and improvement is, and to what extent this is reported in a transparent and good way. At the same time, there is no doubt that Mowi, which among other things has its own sustainability director in the group management, invests heavily in sustainability, says Vindheim.

– Unique openness in the industry

In covid-19 in 2020, FAIRR also ranked the companies according to how well equipped they are to handle risks associated with pandemics. Here, too, salmon farming comes out best.

Furthermore, almost 70 per cent of the companies in the sample are categorized as “high risk” with regard to animal welfare, and chicken and egg producers come out particularly poorly here.

– Do you feel that the welfare challenges in the salmon industry are exaggerated compared to the situation for other protein production?

– I can not say anything about the welfare situation in agriculture globally, but I am fairly sure that the openness about the welfare challenges is far greater in the aquaculture industry. Both our own reporting and the insight one can get through the public, online reporting services are unique, says Vindheim.

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