Ostrum lobbies six major fast food chains with Global Investor Statement on Meat Sourcing

Ostrum AM has co-signed the Global Investor Statement on Meat Sourcing, asking six of the largest global food companies to improve the sustainability of their meat and dairy supply chains in response to rapid growth in the fast food market across both developed and emerging markets.

Around 84.8 million adults in the US – nearly one third of the population – consume fast food in a market worth $214.8bn, while the snack market in France has tripled in fifteen years and is now worth €54bn. A significant portion of this consumption is linked to food items that wholly or partially involve meat and/or dairy products.

The production of animal protein has a significant environmental footprint across three key areas – greenhouse gas emissions, water and land use – so supply chain risks are major challenges to fast food companies’ supply security, sustainability, brand reputation and financial growth as they depend heavily on meat and dairy. Agriculture and land use account for 24% of global greenhouse gas emissions, and meat and dairy supply chains are massive contributors, as well as being among the main culprits of tropical deforestation. Their productivity will also be impacted by rising temperatures.

In view of this situation, investors presented a statement to the largest companies in the sector:

  • McDonald’s Corporation (MCD);
  • Yum! Brands International (YUM);
  • Restaurant Brands International (QSR);
  • Chipotle (CMG);
  • The Wendy’s Company (WEN);
  • Domino’s Pizza Inc (DPZ).

The FAIRR initiative and CERES are asking companies to set and report on a clear strategy for how they are de-risking their meat and dairy supply chains. The development of strong supplier policies, commitments to science-based targets and undertaking a climate risk scenario analysis are all advisable.

Ostrum regularly supports initiatives to improve the quality of supply chains in the food industry – such as the FAIRR initiative on antibiotics overuse in livestock supply chains – and the impact of meat and milk consumption on the world environment is an increasing source of concern for investors, particularly the effects on water resources. Ostrum’s support for this initiative therefore ensures continued visibility alongside other fellow responsible investors on this key issue.