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Grieg Seafood commits funding to new business initiative aiming to halt deforestation in the Cerrado

A new global fundraising initiative aims to stop soy-related deforestation of the Brazilian Cerrado, one of the largest deforestation frontiers in the world today. Grieg Seafood joins Tesco and Nutreco in announcing their commitment to the funding today and invites other global companies with Brazilian soy in their value chain to join in the initiative.

 “Deforestation of the Brazilian Cerrado savannah leads to carbon emissions equivalent to 53 million cars annually. Soy cultivation is a key driver of deforestation in the Cerrado, an area recognized for its biodiversity and agricultural production. The Funding for Soy Farmers in the Cerrado Initiative will provide local soy farmers with financial incentives to expand soy cultivation in the Cerrado on existing agricultural areas. This will help protect the Cerrado’s forests and other natural habitats beyond what farmers already have to legally conserve under Brazil’s forest regulation,” says Andreas Kvame, CEO of the salmon farming company Grieg Seafood.

In addition to Grieg Seafood, the international retailer Tesco and animal feed manufacturer Nutreco have already committed to contribute to the Funding for Soy Farmers in the Cerrado Initiative each year for the next five years.

The Cerrado is one of the world’s most biodiverse dry forests, storing nearly 14 billion tonnes of carbon. The area is also crucial for preserving 40 percent of Brazil’s fresh water.

“Although the soy we use in our salmon feed is certified and deforestation-free in and of itself, Funding for Soy Farmers in the Cerrado gives us an opportunity to make a greater industry impact further back in our value chain. The idea behind the initiative is that businesses with Brazilian soy in their value chain can contribute with this funding. We hope many international companies will join us, both in and outside the salmon sector,” Kvame says.

CEO Andreas Kvame. Photo: Tommy Ellingsen

Companies are encouraged to contribute according to consideration such as the size of their soy footprint. Grieg Seafood will contribute US$ 2 per tonne of soy the company uses annually in its fish feed for five years. In addition to businesses, foundations and governments are also invited to support the initiative financially.

Brazil’s forest regulation aims to balance forest protection with economic development. In the Cerrado, landowners are legally required to conserve 20-35 percent of their land. Without financial incentives, this leaves up to 80 percent of this land at risk of legal deforestation. At the same time, the Brazilian soy industry can more than double its current soy production without additional deforestation because there are already sufficient cleared agricultural areas suitable for soy cultivation. Many local soybean farmers are positive about growing on existing agricultural land if they receive financial incentives for the move.

The Funding for Soy Farmers in the Cerrado Initiative invites Brazilian soy stakeholders to lead the development of a financial mechanism that can disburse the funds in an effective and fair way that reaches the goal to halt soy-related deforestation in the Cerrado. Preliminary studies show that $ 250 million is needed to reach the goal.

Both investors and NGOs support the initiative:

Aarti Ramachandran, head of Research and Engagement in the investor network FAIRR, with $ 20,1 trillion supporter AUM, said: “For over two years, investors, global corporations and local Brazilian organisations have joined forces to find workable solutions to protect the Cerrado biome from soy-related deforestation. The Funding for Soy Farmers in the Cerrado Initiative is a powerful example of how companies can provide the right incentives to enable farmers to go beyond regulation to conserve this precious biome, while securing their supply chains. We applaud this initiative and encourage other companies to contribute to this fund and for Brazilian actors to ensure its effective implementation to halt deforestation.”

Nils Hermann Ranum, head of the Zero deforestation program of the Rainforest Foundation Norway, said: “It’s great to see companies are committing to help stop deforestation from soy in Brazil and demonstrate a willingness to contribute financially to this crucial goal. The world needs an effective mechanism to stop deforestation, combined with the companies pledging to buy soy exclusively from deforestation-free suppliers. If we are to succeed in our efforts to save the forest and stop climate change, it is crucial that companies with soy in their value chain take responsibility.”

Facts – The Brazilian Cerrado

  • The Cerrado is a unique ecosystem, home to over 5% of global biodiversity and a store of nearly 13.7 billion tonnes of carbon. The Cerrado is also one of the most important Brazilian regions for water production – responsible for 40% of Brazil’s freshwater that is essential for agriculture.
  • Soy represents more than 80% of the current Cerrado cropland (18 million ha of soy crops).
  • The Cerrado biome in Brazil is currently the world’s largest area of land conversion.
  • There are currently 22 million hectares of additional agricultural land in the Cerrado that is highly suitable for soy expansion. This can more than double current soy production in the Cerrado and meet growing global demand for soy for many decades to come, without further deforestation.

Facts – The Funding for Soy Farmers in the Cerrado Initiative

  • Funding for Soy Farmers in the Cerrado is an industry-led initiative designed to support Brazilian farmers who are playing an active role in Cerrado conservation by preserving more land than they are legally required to, under the Brazilian Forest code, as native vegetation.
  • The initiative will help the shift towards an end in soy-associated deforestation and habitat conversion in the Cerrado biome. Alongside the Amazon soy moratorium that has been effective at stopping deforestation for soy in the Amazon, the funding aims to create a financial incentive mechanism for farmers that could make Brazil a zero-deforestation and conversion soy producing country.
  • International soy-value chain companies, foundations and governments can support this initiative by contributing financially.
  • Initial forecasts and modelling indicate that approximately US$250 million in funding would be needed over a five-year period to achieve these outcomes. Beyond the initial five years, complementary incentives, such as green bonds and carbon financing, will be needed to continue to support farmers to expand soy only on already cleared land.
  • The funding will only be disbursed when an effective mechanism to deliver the outcomes of the funding is designed and agreed.
  • Once an effective mechanism is designed and agreed, donors will be expected to pay from approximately one year after the mechanism is launched.
  • It is recognised that if an effective industry mechanism that achieves the outcomes of the funding is not developed, that the next best alternative for companies is to purchase credits (e.g. which are currently around USD2 a tonne). This next best alternative serves as a recommended minimum for companies to consider.

Facts – Grieg Seafood’s contribution to The Funding for Soy Farmers in the Cerrado Initiative:

  • Grieg Seafood has committed to contribute with $USD 2 per tonne of Brazilian soy the company uses in its fish feed. This is in accordance with the guidelines of the initiative.
  • All of the soy that Grieg Seafood uses in their feed is certified according to ProTerra or Round Table for Responsible Soy (RTRS). The contribution to The Funding for Soy Farmers in the Cerrado comes in addition to this.
  • Grieg Seafood’s annual soybean imprint is approximately 30,000 tonnes. The company is in a growth phase, but is also looking for alternative feeding ingredients. They therefore expect their soy footprint to remain stable over the next few years.
  • The company will report the exact soy footprint per year in its annual reports. As fish growth and feed consumption is impacted by various factors, such as sea water temperature, they never know how much feed they use before the end of the year.
  • Grieg Seafood is a member of the steering group in Cerrado Manifesto Signatories of Support
  • Read more about how Grieg Seafood works with sustainability here:

Please also

Contact information:

Kristina Furnes, Global Communications Director Grieg Seafood ASA

TEL: +47 481 85 505 /

Quotes from soy farmers in the Cerrado:

Paulo Rickly, Soy Farmer Cerrado (Maranhão)

“We—producers of soybeans and other grains in the Brazilian Cerrado region—are aware of the need to preserve the biome not only because of its great biodiversity, but also because the Cerrado is where the springs of the main watersheds in South America are born. The Cerrado´s vegetation is a ‘sponge’ that absorbs rainwater and feeds the groundwater and aquifers that will give rise to rivers.

“In addition to other factors such as evapotranspiration, regulation of temperature gradients, and wind barriers, among others, this idea of payments for environmental services comes at a good time, as it will certainly help to keep most of these areas preserved.”

Cesare, Soy Farmer Cerrado (Maranhão)

“The movement for the preservation of the environment observed in Brazil should not only be an external pressure event. It is important to use tools such as payments for environmental services as an incentive. These payments express the worldwide commitment of all those involved in the food production chain to embrace sustainability.

The applicability of tools like financial mechanisms are mandatory to achieve preservation and maintenance of the environment.”

Gabriel Couto, Soy Farmer Cerrado (Maranhão)

“Preserving forests is one of the biggest challenges for developing countries like Brazil. We are aware of the importance of native vegetation in maintaining rainfall regimes, as forests control climate through evapotranspiration. Brazil’s role in favor of the Amazon has been closely watched internationally and the country’s reputation for agriculture will depend on maintaining high levels of production in an environmentally sustainable manner.

Thus, payments are a direct way to curb deforestation. For the farmer who is not yet aware of the global importance of forests, this incentive would give him a direct economic reason to contribute to the preservation of his reserves.”

Luiz Pradella, Soy Farmer Cerrado (Bahia)

“Payment for Environmental Services is recognition of the very few individuals that contribute to the good of all. We must socialize the benefit and the cost as well. Environmental services are for the planet, so the service provider (farmer) should be rewarded for it.”

Benildo Telles, Soy Farmer Cerrado (Mato Grosso)

“I believe it is possible to produce sustainably while preserving forests and soil, but receiving payments for environmental services is critical to that.”

Gisela Introvini, Soy Farmer Cerrado (Maranhão)

“In the region of Maranhão and Piauí, we (producers) use RTRS certification and believe that payment for environmental services is a great tool for valuing those who get high production results through the technologies and systems that make it possible to produce in the same space: meat, soy and corn—and still contribute to carbon storage. ”

Deomar, Soy Farmer Cerrado (Mato Grosso)

“Brazilian agriculture in the Cerrado regions carries very large burdens in relation to the maintenance of reserves. The farmer bears this cost for the benefit of the whole community, which receives benefits not only from the food production, but also from all the environmental services generated.

There is an urgent need for society to be aware of this issue and understand that such a burden should be shared amongst all, given the social benefits that preserving the environment brings.”

Grieg Seafood among top ten on gender equality index

While the seafood industry is still heavily male-dominated, it is moving in the right direction. Grieg Seafood climbed to an 8th place on the SHE Index for 2019.

Andreas Kvame, CEO of Grieg Seafood.

“We have a very long way to go before we have reached gender equality both in the industry and in Grieg Seafood. That goes particularly for employment in production. We are, however, working systematically to get women into the company and into management positions,” says Andreas Kvame, CEO of Grieg Seafood.

The accounting and consulting firm EY and the Norwegian gender equality firm SHE is behind the SHE Index, which measures gender balance and gender equality in companies. The Index is scoring companies based on the gender balance in management teams on different levels, as well as the company’s policies to improve female representation in management.

From the seafood industry, Bremnes Seashore and AKVA group have also decided to participate in the SHE Index.

The industry must roll up its sleeves

Andreas Kvame believes that the seafood companies have been single minded in recruitment for too long, and that the industry must start rolling up its sleeves.

«Over the next years, the aquaculture industry will develop a great number of new solutions aimed at reducing our environmental footprint and improving fish welfare. We need the most talented people, regardless of gender, age and other backgrounds,” Kvame states.

“Diversity is not only the right thing to do. It definitely also serves our own interests.”

So far, the SHE Index is comprised of Norwegian companies. EY and the SHE is, however, working to expand it to international businesses as well. They are soon launching the SHE Index for India.

For more information about the SHE Index, please see:

Kristina Furnes is new Global Communications Manager in Grieg Seafood

The salmon farming company strengthens its strategic communications capabilities with the appointment of advisor from Scandinavia’s largest communications agency.

“Our industry gets to use fjords that belong to all to produce our healthy salmon. We need to be trusted partners of the communities where we operate. The employment of Kristina Furnes is a new step in our efforts to improve the dialogue with society around us, also in cooperation with other actors in the industry. We are happy that she will join our team” says Andreas Kvame, CEO of Grieg Seafood.

Furnes is a former communications advisor at Scandinavia’s largest communications agency, Geelmuyden Kiese, where she has been for over 3 years. She has worked a great deal with issues related to various parts of the seafood industry. She is a political scientist from the University of Oslo.

“The aquaculture industry will become increasingly important in providing healthy food to a growing global population. As a leading actor in the industry, Grieg Seafood has set ambitious goals on sustainability, digitalization and growth. I am thrilled to join the company,” says Furnes.
Furnes starts on January 2, 2019.

For more information, please contact:
CEO Andreas Kvame: 0047 90771441

Harmful algal bloom caused mortalities at two sites in BC

Grieg Seafood has experienced acute mortality at two of its BC locations in the Jervis Inlet following harmful algal blooms (HAB) in the area. Total mortality is estimated to 250,000 fish or approximately 1,000 tons. This represents some 50 percent of the total biomass from the two locations.

Grieg Seafood continuously works to improve biosecurity and all of Grieg Seafood’s sites perform algal monitoring by taking daily samples which are analyzed using advanced image analysis techniques. This allows for the identification of the species, prevalence and depth distribution of any algae present.

The HAB in Jervis consisted of Heterosigma, a species of microscopic algae that cause acute mortality in fish. Due to extraordinarily high concentration and spread throughout the entire water column, use of Aeration treatments or other protective measures could not prevent the incident.

Grieg Seafood has insurances covering such incidents, and estimated costs including individual share of insurance are limited to NOK 25 million. The costs will be charged the Q2 2018 results.

The fish affected was scheduled to be harvested in the second half of 2018.

Contact information
Andreas Kvame, CEO, tel: +47 907 71 441
Atle Harald Sandtorv, CFO, tel +47 908 45 252


New report on sustainability in Grieg Seafood

Grieg Seafood keeps up the tradition from 2013 to publish the Group’s adopted performance indicators on sustainability efforts.

Grieg Seafood has adopted an ambitious strategy to enforce sustainability into all aspects of the Group’s business, as assumed in the Sustainability Report. The company’s goal is to be a strong sustainability player in our industry, based on measured performance communicated to the market and the public on an ongoing annual basis.

Cooperation with national and regional authorities, local communities, interest groups, shareholders, suppliers and customers – and the relationship with own employees – is subject to consistent assessment in the Sustainability Report. In addition to specific KPIs, the Group offers a qualitative assessment of a number of aspects of sustainability.










Sustainability Report indicators

Lice control: Prevalence of sea lice in all regions, monthly throughout the year. Measurement of medical and mechanical procedures.

Food safety and quality: Measures traces of unwanted drugs, toxins or metals in farmed fish. No findings in 2016.

Escape control: Measurement of escapes and procedures for traceability shows three cases of escape in 2016, one in Finnmark and two on Shetland.

Fish health: Reporting from the corporate fish health program, showing mortality below 7% in Finnmark, close to the target in Rogaland, improvement in British Columbia, weaker results in Shetland.

Openness and stakeholder dialogue: Reporting communications based on openness, respect and ambition – towards authorities, owners, interest groups, investors, customers, suppliers and employees.

Other indicators: Sustainable feed – interaction with wildlife – employee health, safety and working environment – anti-corruption and integrity – ripple effects on local communities


Sustainability contact in Grieg Seafood ASA:

GSF Director Feed and Nutrition, Tor Eirik Homme, cell. +47 952 43 050


Image disclosure:

Image from front page of report, freely used if credited “Photo: Hung Ngo”.






RAISING THE BAR: The Global Salmon Initiative (GSI) releases third annual sustainability report

Driving industry-wide improvements in sustainability through greater transparency and cooperation, the GSI members continue to raise the bar in industry performance by publishing the third annual sustainability report, which highlights that one-quarter of all GSI farms are now ASC certified



Brussels, Belgium – April 26, 2017, 09:00 CET: The 2016 Sustainability Report published today by the Global Salmon Initiative (GSI) features 4 years’ worth of data from all 12 GSI salmon farming member companies. Using the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) Salmon Standard as a framework, the report documents the GSI members’ environmental and social performance across 14 key sustainability indicators, and highlights improvements in responsible business practices. Continuing to raise the bar in industry transparency, this year’s report is also the first from the GSI leadership group to include data verified by independent auditors, providing additional credibility and reassurance for stakeholders.

Highlights from the 2016 Sustainability Report include:

  • Nearly one-quarter of all GSI farms now ASC certified – a 60% increase from 2015
  • Overall preferential environmental performance of farmed salmon when compared to other livestock sectors on indicators such as carbon footprint, energy retention and protein retention
  • Continuing improvements in the responsible use of feed ingredients, with the average feed conversion ratio for farmed salmon now at 1.3:1
  • GSI members employ almost 20,000 people across small and rural communities globally
  • Focus on ongoing positive social impact through meaningful interactions with local communities
  • Move towards greater use of innovative and holistic approaches to disease management

Piers Hart, Global Head of Aquaculture at WWF commented, “We have closely followed the work of the GSI for a number of years now, and are pleased to see further significant progress towards the initiative´s goal of achieving 100% ASC certified farmed salmon by 2020. Setting ambitious sustainability goals remains a crucial factor for every individual company. However, sector-wide transformation can only happen through collective sustainability initiatives such as the GSI, which represents almost 50% of the global salmon industry. That´s why we call upon all farmed salmon producers to become ASC certified, either individually or through GSI membership. We also hope it will be an incentive for retailers worldwide to continue to offer their consumers ASC certified salmon”.

The GSI Sustainability Report also demonstrates the preferable environmental performance of farmed salmon when compared to other protein sectors – such as chicken, beef and pork – including its low, and decreasing, feed conversion ratio (the lower this ratio, the more efficient an animal is at retaining the protein and energy from feed and converting it into food for humans), and low carbon footprint.

“We want to use our combined knowledge and global reach to raise the bar when it comes to environmental and social performance not only in the farmed sector, but across the food industry as a whole”, said Per Grieg, GSI Co-Chair and Chairman of the Board, Grieg Seafood ASA. “We want to lead by example, and demonstrate to other companies, and other sectors, that improving sustainability is a pre-competitive issue. What the GSI Sustainability Report demonstrates is that, through greater transparency and greater cooperation, it is possible to achieve change at scale which is good for the environment, and good for business”.

To view the GSI Sustainability Report and more information on the work of the GSI, please visit the website at:


The Global Salmon Initiative (GSI) is a leadership initiative established in 2013 by global farmed salmon producers focused on making significant progress on industry sustainability. Today, GSI comprises 12 companies – representing approximately 50% of the global salmon production industry – that are fully committed to realizing a shared goal of providing a highly sustainable source of healthy food to feed a growing global population, whilst minimizing our environmental footprint, and continuing to improve our social contribution.

GSI member companies are Bakkafrost; Blumar; Cermaq; Compañía Pesquera Camanchaca; Empresas AquaChile; Grieg Seafood ASA; Huon Aquaculture; Los Fiordos; Marine Harvest; Multiexport Foods S.A.; New Zealand King Salmon; and Ventisqueros. GSI companies have a presence in Australia, Canada, Chile, the Faroe Islands, Ireland, New Zealand, Norway and the UK, and make significant contributions to the economies of these respective countries.

In addition, the GSI also has a number of Associate Members in both the pharmaceutical and feed industries, including Benchmark Holdings plc; BioMar; Cargill; Elanco; Merck, Sharpe and Dohme (MSD) Animal Health; PHARMAQ; Salmofood; and Skretting.


For further information on the GSI:


Media contacts:
Sophie Ryan
+1 604 506 8414

Cameron Donald
+ 44 (0)7710 388 627

Global G.A.P Certified


We can now congratulate Grieg Seafood Shetland as a Global G.A.P certified company.

– We are very happy about this. This shows that our company cover the criteria for legal compliance, for food safety, worker occupational health and safety, animal welfare, and environmental and ecological care, says Regional Manager Sigurd Pettersen.

– A Global G.A.P certification is also very important for the marked, he says.

The process of becoming Global G.A.P certified started last year.

The official confirmation sounds like this:
“The certification body Food Certification International Ltd. t/a Acoura Marine certified your products under your GLOBALG.A.P. No. 4056186358998 in the GLOBALG.A.P. database.”

The final result for our shells sample project

In Alta river the percentage of submitted shell samples shows 2.9% of farmed salmon in the entire period. The percentage of wild fish is 96.0%.

In Repparfjord river the percentage of submitted shell samples shows 1.2% of farmed salmon in the entire period. The percentage of wild fish is 98.6%.

We want to thank all the fishermen in both rivers that have submitted shell samples in the salmon season. This gave NINA a good foundation to work with so we could present the most accurate result.

The project is a collaboration between NINA, ALI, Vest -Finnmark Jakt og Fiske, Cermaq, Grieg Seafood and NRS. This is the third year the project is implemented. The results of the collected shells samples tells us what proportion of the submitted samples of farmed salmon, and not the situation in the river as a whole.