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Stop Talking About Climate Change and Take Responsibility

The food industry is threatened by its contributions to climate change

The Lempert Report

The Coller FAIRR report urges meat, dairy and seafood companies to address their impact—for their own good. 

The Guardian reports that the world’s biggest producers of meat, dairy and seafood are failing to tackle the enormous effect they are having on the planet through deforestation, the routine use of antibiotics and greenhouse gas emissions.

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 labor abuses. The producers are the “hidden” supply chain, providing meat and dairy to global brands such as McDonald’s, Tesco, Nestle 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 of 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 1 in 4 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 analyzed 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”.

According to the report, two-thirds of producers do not even measure all their greenhouse gas emissions let alone set targets to reduce them. It's time to stop talking about climate change and take responsibility.

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