Knowledge for better food systems

Interactive online investor guide on agricultural supply chain risk including climate change and deforestation

Ceres, a sustainability nonprofit organization working with influential investors and companies, has released a new website to help investors when they make decisions to invest in food or agriculture companies. They argue that agricultural commodity trade is highly affected by issues such as climate change, deforestation, water use and pollution, and that companies need to take these into account in order to improve supply chain security and ensure consumer acceptability.

Their guide illustrates how certain companies including packaged food companies, agricultural producers, retailers and restaurants are 1) contributors to environmental and social problems, and 2) likely to suffer from the effects of these in the future. The guide then sets out how investors can make informed decisions about which companies to invest in or what changes they could demand before investing.

Accompanying research shows that shareholder resolutions - in which investors collectively put pressure on companies to disclose their  environmental or social risks - are rising in both number and variety.  The number of climate-related resolutions, for example, filed with food and drinks companies went up from 12 in 2011 to 131 in 2017.

You can find Ceres’ guide ’Engage the Chain’  here. This two minute video on Youtube presents the project. For more coverage on various companies which have recently made sustainability commitments because of investors’ pressure, see the Inside Climate News website

The website of the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures might also be of interest. This task force is an industry group chaired by former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg which has launched a framework aiming  to make climate-related disclosures more consistent in July 2017 supported by over 100 corporations.

See also the FAIRR Initiative, which is a collaborative investor network which works to help investors share knowledge and form collaborative engagements on issues related to farm animal welfare. 

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