Established in 2015 by the Jeremy Coller Foundation, the Farm Animal Investment Risk & Return (FAIRR) initiative is an investor network that aims to put factory farming on the environmental, social and governance (ESG) agenda.
Issues associated with factory farming present an iceberg of risks to investors. Above the surface, scandals such as swine flu, avian flu and horsemeat have shown how industrial production methods can lead to value destruction. Below the surface, FAIRR is working with its network to highlight other related risks associated with this method of livestock production. FAIRR acts as a global collaborative network that shares research, fresh thinking and best practice with global institutional investors, policy makers, academics, NGOs and other related actors.
Resources from FAIRR:
- Factory Farming in Asia: Assessing Investment Risks (2017)
- Responding to Resistance (2017)
- The Resturant Sector and Antibiotic Risks (2017)
- Factory Farming: Assessing the Investment Risks (2016)
- The Restaurant Sector and Antibiotic Risks (2016)
- The Future of Food: The Investment Case for a Protein Shakeup (2016)
- Investor Case Studies (2016)
- Sustainable Protein
Research by Chatham House and others has indicated that it will not be possible to limit temperature rises to 2°C – the goal agreed at the UN Climate Change Conference, COP21, in 2015 – if livestock production and consumption are not addressed, posing regulatory risk to the industry. Further to this, the wider-ranging sustainability impacts of the increased demand for animal products seen over the last 50 years could prove costly, with a recent University of Oxford study suggesting that if unaddressed, public health and environmental costs could be up to $1.6 trillion globally by 2050. The collective impact and possible accumulation of these factors creates supply chains that are inherently more susceptible to disruption.
FAIRR, in partnership with ShareAction, is coordinating a collaborative engagement with 40 investors, with over $1 trillion AUM, and 16 global food companies. Investors believe that the time is right for food companies to think strategically about building sustainable protein supply chains, diversifying their protein ranges and mitigating the myriad of risks associated with future supply chain disruption.
- Antibiotics Overuse in Livestock Supply Chains
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has warned that as a result of irresponsible antibiotics practices, we are fast approaching a ‘post-antibiotic era’, where routine operations will no longer be possible and many diseases and infections no longer treatable. This alarming situation is due to the increase in antibiotic resistance bacteria caused by the irresponsible use and overuse of antibiotics in humans and animals. The majority of all antibiotics produced are given to livestock – nearly half of all antibiotics in the UK, two-thirds in the EU, and 80% in the U.S. Most are given not to treat disease, but are administered at low levels to prevent illness or to promote growth.
FAIRR is coordinating an ongoing engagement with 60 investors with over $1.5 trillion AUM who are engaging with leading restaurants and fast food companies, asking them to phase out the routine, preventative use of medically-important antibiotics in livestock supply chains. Please see the link above on our research on antibiotics in the restaurant sector.