Research from $19 trillion-backed FAIRR investor network also raises concerns of poor management of climate emissions, deforestation and antibiotics
- US$189 billion group of 28 Asian companies assessed on sustainability, with Charoen Pokphand Foods (CPF) and China Mengniu Dairy Co Ltd are ranked among the top 15 Asian performers in the global Index.
- But the Asian sector as a whole is failing on greenhouse gas emissions, deforestation and antibiotic use.
(London, 07 November 2019), The $19-trillion backed FAIRR investor network has today highlighted Charoen Pokphand Foods (Thailand) and China Mengniu Dairy Co Ltd (China) among the top 15 global meat and dairy companies for their management of sustainability issues. However, it warned that all three also have areas to improve and that the sector as a whole in Asia is lagging behind those of other global regions. The report highlights a major growth opportunity for ‘alternative proteins’ in the region.
The Coller FAIRR Protein Producer Index assessed 60 of the largest publicly-listed meat, farmed fish and dairy producers. Today, a regional edition focusing on 28 firms worth a combined $189.75 billion in market capitalisation and headquartered in China, Japan, Thailand, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Taiwan, Malaysia, Philippines, Vietnam and India was published (See notes to editors for full list).
Of the total global list of 60 meat, fish and dairy firms: CPF and China Mengniu Dairy were ranked 10th and 13th respectively. CPF was the only Asian company in the Index that addresses deforestation risks linked to its sourcing of soy for animal feed. China Mengniu Dairy was noted for its progress on sustainable proteins, ranking third in the global Index on this criteria due to its dedicated plant-based protein beverage business. The plant-based protein market is expected to grab as much as 10% of the global meat market within 15 years.
However, the Index found that Asia’s animal agriculture sector was performing poorly against other sustainability criteria including climate emissions, deforestation and antibiotics. Among the concerns highlighted for investors were:
- Greenhouse Gas Emissions: 24 of 28 companies (86%) are categorised as ‘high risk’ in this area as they have little to no disclosure on GHG emissions targets across their operations and supply chain. None of the companies have a science-based target for emissions reduction.
- Deforestation: Asia’s appetite for Brazilian beef and soy creates enormous exposure to deforestation risk for the sector. However, 23 companies (82%) are categorised as ‘high risk’ as they do not report on how they manage deforestation risks linked to soy. CPF is the only company that has a commitment that 100% of soy will have zero net deforestation and forest degradation by 2020.
- Antibiotics: 27 of 28 companies (96%) are categorised as ‘high risk’ in this area as they have no or limited disclosure on antibiotics management or commitments to limiting antibiotic use. Asian companies score an average of just 8% on their management of antibiotics, the worst of any global region, compared with an average of 50% amongst Index companies headquartered in Europe & Russia. Recent studies have indicated that farm animals in China and India are becoming resistant to common antibiotics, linked to extensive growth in intensive meat systems.
Dr. Stephanie Mooij, Senior Engagement Associate, Aegon Asset Management said:
“Meat and dairy companies are significant contributors to climate change, which is why they should not be overlooked. A lack of transparency by Asian and other protein producers on their management of critical sustainability issues makes it difficult to conduct a thorough ESG assessment. That’s why Aegon Asset Management has launched an engagement project focused on uplifting these management standards and the Coller FAIRR Protein Producer Index is a comprehensive tool to inform our ESG assessment and engagement efforts in areas from GHG emissions and water to antibiotics and animal welfare.”
Jerry Goh, Investment Manager, Aberdeen Standard Investments
“The research for the Coller FAIRR Index gives us valuable insights into the $320 billion animal agriculture supply chain. It tells us that Asia food companies have been beneficiaries from the growth in global protein consumption, whilst highlighting the negative environmental and public health impacts for the animal agriculture sector. It is good news to see leaders emerge in Asia, with three Asian firms in the top 10 global meat and dairy companies for their management of sustainability issues. But the research also informs that investors need to engage Asia’s protein producers to be more aware of food safety and practices, and to develop more sustainable business operations to better manage their long-term risks.”
Notes to editor
- For more information contact Caroline Barraclough, ESG Communications,
t: + 44 (0)7503771694 | e: [email protected];
- Methodology: All companies are given an overall ranking of ‘low’, ‘medium’, ‘high’ risk’ or ‘best practice’, based on their scores against nine sustainability factors. These are: Greenhouse gas emissions; Deforestation and biodiversity loss; Water scarcity and use; Waste and pollution; Antibiotics; Animal welfare; Working conditions, Food safety, and alternative proteins. A full methodology is available in the Index report or online. All valuations are based on market capitalization figures as of May 31st 2019.
- A full report with all results and details of the Coller FAIRR Index is available on request or at fairr.org/index. The nine companies assessed by the Coller FAIRR Index in Asia are:
|Company||Country||Main protein category|
|Almarai Co JSC||Saudi Arabia||Dairy|
|Beijing Sanyuan Foods Co Ltd||China||Dairy|
|Beijing Shunxin Agriculture Co Ltd||China||Pork|
|Charoen Pokphand Foods PCL||Thailand||Multiple|
|China Mengniu Dairy Co Ltd||China||Dairy|
|China Modern Dairy Holdings Ltd||China||Dairy|
|Chuying Agro-pastoral Group Co Ltd||China||Pork|
|COFCO Meat Holdings Ltd||China||Pork|
|Fortune Ng Fung Food Hebei Co Ltd||China||Beef|
|Fujian Sunner Development Co Ltd||China||Poultry & eggs|
|GFPT PCL||Thailand||Poultry & eggs|
|Great Wall Enterprise Co Ltd||Taiwan||Multiple|
|Inner Mongolia Yili Industrial Group Co Ltd||China||Dairy|
|Muyuan Foodstuff Co Ltd||China||Pork|
|New Hope Liuhe Co Ltd||China||Poultry & eggs|
|NH Foods Ltd||Japan||Pork|
|Nippon Suisan Kaisha Ltd||Japan||Aquaculture|
|Prima Meat Packers Ltd||Japan||Pork|
|QL Resources Berhad||Malaysia||Poultry & eggs|
|San Miguel Food and Beverage Inc||Philippines||Poultry & eggs|
|Thai Union Group PCL||Thailand||Aquaculture|
|Thaifoods Group PCL||Thailand||Poultry & eggs|
|Venky’s India Ltd||India||Poultry & eggs|
|Vietnam Dairy Products JSC||Vietnam||Dairy|
|Wens Foodstuff Group Co., Ltd.||China||Multiple|
|WH Group Ltd||China||Pork|
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The FAIRR Initiative is a collaborative investor network, established by the Jeremy Coller Foundation. Its mission is to build a global network of investors who are focused and engaged on the risks linked to intensive animal production within the broader food system. FAIRR helps investors to exercise their influence as responsible stewards of capital to engage and safeguard the long-term value of their investment portfolios. This is the second year of the Coller FAIRR Protein Producer Index which was shortlisted by the UN-supported Principles for Responsible Investment as ESG Research Report of the Year for 2018.</stron