Simon Jessop, Reuters, 9 December 2015
Factory farming could pose the next big risk for investors, following on the heels of car emissions test cheating, oil spills and bribery fines, a report by a group of investors suggests.
Corporate performance on so-called environmental, social and governance-related issues has grabbed headlines again this year, not least that of VW, whose shares slid after the German firm admitted to rigging the emissions tests of some of its cars.
A study by the Farm Animal Investment Risk and Return network (FAIRR), released on Wednesday, said animal factory had at least 28 distinct ESG risks, many of which were currently poorly understood or hidden from investors.
Among the risks were food safety scandals and environmental fines, which could impact the financial performance of companies across the food value chain, including large agri-business, food retailers and restaurants.
“The magnitude of risks generated by animal factory farming is set to increase through rising capital costs, the shifting gravity of production to developing countries with less robust regulation, the impacts of climate change and increasing social concerns over animal welfare and sustainability,” the report said.
FAIRR was set up by Jeremy Coller, founder of private equity firm Coller Capital and signatories including Aviva Investors and Boston Common Asset Management, all of whom agree to reflect animal welfare in their investment process.
Reporting by Simon Jessop; editing by Susan Fenton.
See full article here.