Global food producers 'failing to face up to role' in climate crisis

(The Guardian, 4 Sep 2019) Report urges meat, dairy and seafood companies to address impact of industry’s deforestation, use of antibiotics and emissions.

The world’s biggest producers of meat, dairy and seafood are failing to tackle the enormous impact they are having on the planet through deforestation, the routine use of antibiotics and greenhouse gas emissions, a report warns.

The Coller Fairr index ranks 50 of the largest global meat, dairy and fish producers by looking at risk factors from use of antibiotics to deforestation and labour abuses. The producers are the “hidden” supply chain, providing meat and dairy to global brands including McDonald’s, Tesco, Nestlé and Walmart.

The index is written by investment experts who want to encourage awareness of the risks posed to the planet – and to their own profitability – by companies that fail to mitigate the damage done to the environment by food production.

Jeremy Coller is founder of Fairr and chief investment officer at Coller Capital. He says it is the huge companies behind the brands that will themselves suffer if the planet isn’t protected. “It is the companies hidden upstream in the meat and dairy supply chain who face the most significant climate and public health risks.

“As last month’s landmark report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) demonstrated, the world’s meat, fish and dairy industries are under serious threat from climate change impacts. In stark contrast to the transport sector, only one in four meat, fish and dairy producers even measure their greenhouse gas emissions, let alone act to reduce them.”

Among other failings, the index says that none of the companies analysed have a comprehensive policy to stop deforestation. And just four companies in the index “have committed to phasing out routine use of antibiotics, widespread in the industry”.

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The Guardian, 4 Sep 2019: Global food producers 'failing to face up to role' in climate crisis