Two New Investor Organisations Join Global Collaboration on Farm Animal Welfare

Robeco and The Sustainability Group (part of Loring, Wolcott & Coolidge) have become the latest institutional investors to join an international collaborative initiative aimed at encouraging major global food companies to strengthen their management systems and processes on farm animal welfare.

They join sixteen major institutional investors – including Aviva Investors, BNP Paribas Investment Partners, Schroders and Walden Asset Management – who are already working with the Business Benchmark on Farm Animal Welfare to encourage major global food companies to strengthen their farm animal welfare approaches.

The collaborative engagement builds on the Business Benchmark on Farm Animal Welfare’s annual review of how the world’s leading food companies are managing and reporting their farm animal welfare practices.

The third Benchmark report, launched in February 2015, evaluated 80 global food companies on their policies, governance, management processes and reporting on farm animal welfare. Ten (10) companies were considered to have made strong commitments to farm animal welfare and to have well developed management systems and processes. However, 40 of the 80 provided little or no evidence that farm animal welfare was recognised as a business issue or that that the risks and opportunities associated with farm animal welfare were being effectively managed.

The participating investors, who have a combined total of over one trillion pounds in assets under management, are encouraging the low ranking companies in the Benchmark to improve their farm animal welfare policies, practices and reporting. They are also commending the high ranking companies for their performance in the Benchmark.

Programme Director, Nicky Amos commented:  “The fact that major investors from the UK, the USA, Australia, the Netherlands, France and Canada are now participating in this initiative is a clear sign that farm animal welfare is a sustainability issue that is of global relevance to institutional investors”.

Dr Rory Sullivan, Expert Adviser to the Benchmark added: “This collaboration, the first global investor engagement programme focused specifically on farm animal welfare, provides a practical mechanism for investors to translate their interest in farm animal welfare into real action. The annual benchmarking process allows the participating investors to track the effectiveness of their engagement efforts”.

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