FAIRR Farm Animal Investment Risk and Return

Farm Animal Investment Risk and Return

Last week Castlefield became the latest investor to join the Farm Animal Investment Risk and Return (FAIRR) initiative. This initiative conducts research into key environmental, social and governance (ESG) risks associated with animal agriculture and links this to financial performance. The FAIRR Initiative aims to educate investors on the risks and opportunities associated with livestock production. Through their publications and collaborative engagement work, FAIRR supports investors to analyse the potential impact of these issues as part of their investment processes.

The first report produced by the initiative identified 28 ESG risks that are associated with factory farming (you can read it here: http://www.fairr.org/wp-content/uploads/FAIRR-Factory-Farming-Assessing-Investment-Risks-2016-Report.pdf). Subsequently, the initiative has gone about trying to address some of these issues with their investor members through the use of collaborative engagement. With the backing of investors, such as Castlefield, FAIRR approaches companies with exposure to these risks and presses for action. One such investor engagement is on antibiotic overuse in livestock supply chains. Globally, the most antibiotics are used in farm animal production1. Usually this is to prevent the spread of disease among animals housed in unsanitary conditions and in close confinement. This overuse of antibiotics contributes to the emergence of antimicrobial resistance2. We are keen to participate in the push orchestrated by FAIRR to limit the use of antibiotics in our food system. This also ties in with our membership to the Business Benchmark for Farm Animal Welfare (BBFAW) as animals that are reared in conditions with high welfare standards are less likely to need antibiotics.

Going forward, FAIRR are looking to expand their engagement efforts to focus on more of the 28 identified risks.

We are happy to be part of this initiative which we feel is doing great work. The FAIRR initiative not only conducts and publishes research into ESG risks associated with animal agriculture but also works hard to unite investors to approach companies and use their influence to improve the way in which they conduct their operations. We look forward to adding the Castlefield name to engagements as well as using the research produced by the initiative as part of our ESG analysis.

1 http://www.fairr.org/investor-engagements/antibiotics-overuse-livestock-supply-chains/ 

2 http://www.who.int/en/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/antibiotic-resistance

Written by Kate Hewitt

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