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2021-11-01

Interview with Alfred Jansen, Head of Corporate, Brand & Sustainability Communications at IGLO

1. IGLO is currently investigating whether cell-cultured fish can find a place in the recipes of fish dishes in the future. Do you expect these products to enter the European market quickly?


Development is only just beginning, but it is important for us to be involved in this innovative biotechnology at an early stage. There are still major hurdles before a market launch can be achieved. First of all, the properties have to be developed in such a way that the cell-cultured fish meat has the same quality as fish from the wild. Another challenge is to produce it in large quantities and at a cost that can later lead to an affordable end product. However, a very big obstacle is the formal approval of cell-cultured fish as food. There are no references here yet. In the end, we have to be convinced of the product, then the international authorities, and finally we have to win the trust of consumers. A rapid market entry is therefore not to be expected.


2 The "Green Deal" calls for the implementation of a circular economy and bioeconomy throughout the EU in the future. To what extent has IGLO already integrated the ideas of the Green Deal into its business activities in advance?


With our Nomad Foods group of companies, to which IGLO belongs, we are already exploring this complex array of topics. We are part of the science-based targets initiative (SBTi) and our targets are accepted there. Some measures for regenerative agriculture, promotion of biodiversity and the protection of species, the reduction of energy and material consumption, etc. have already been initiated or implemented, but there is still a lot to do. In order to further reduce CO2 and then to be able to measure this properly and comparably, it is imperative that the EU defines universally applicable measurement standards. Our own surveys so far follow the strictest scientific methodologies, other companies are more flexible in this respect, therefore we demand a clear EU standard that does not allow any interpretation gaps.


3. IGLO is committed to the SDGs. In your view, can the new biotech manufacturing methods be seen as a contribution to the SDGs?


The world population is continuously growing and it is a fundamental challenge to secure their nutrition. At the same time, resources on land and at sea are continuous. We believe that the new biotechnological methods can enable humanity’s potentials to have to use the natural resources in a smaller scale. This gives us the opportunity to address social, environmental and economic SDG aspects. We want to take advantage of this option - it is not for nothing that our corporate purpose is "Serving the World with better Food".