Global Investor Engagement on Meat Sourcing

First launched by the FAIRR Initiative and Ceres in 2019, the Global Investor Engagement on Meat Sourcing brings together over 90 investors with more than $11.4 trillion in combined assets to engage with six of the world’s biggest quick-service restaurant brands. In these dialogues, investors are calling on companies to undertake climate risk scenario analysis, develop strong supplier policies on climate and water, set science-based targets, and publicly disclose progress against these targets.

Progress Briefing

On 30 April 2021, we launched a new report to outline the latest developments from the engagement.

Click the button below to learn more about the progress that the six companies have made in addressing some of the most pressing climate concerns, such as setting GHG emission targets approved by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) and mitigating the risks related to water scarcity and pollution.

View Report


For fast-food companies buying meat and dairy, these supply chain risks present growing challenges to their supply security, sustainability ambitions, brand and reputation, and financial growth.

The fast-food sector plays a dominant role in feeding our global population. On any given day around 84.8 million adults in the US, nearly one-third of the population, consume fast food. This sector continues to expand rapidly across developed and emerging markets. A significant portion of this consumption is linked to food items that wholly or partially involve meat and/or dairy products.

Across three key areas – greenhouse gas emissions, water and land use – animal proteins have a significant environmental footprint. In August 2019, the IPCC published a special report on climate change and land arguing that the global food system both contributes to global GHG emissions and is vulnerable to climate change impacts. This increasingly creates material reputational, operational and market risks for the companies buying animal protein-based products. Agriculture and land use constitute 24% of global GHG emissions, and meat and dairy supply chains are major contributors and are also among the biggest drivers of tropical deforestation. Their productivity will also be impacted by rising temperatures.

Main contact: Lily Stuart, Research & Engagements Manager

Phase 3 Priorities

While five of the six companies have shown progress by setting GHG targets, they have all been much slower to address water scarcity and pollution risks among their meat suppliers.

In Phase 3 of this collaborative engagement, investors will be able to request that companies commit to key interim objectives identified during Phase 2 of the engagement. While these objectives differ for each company, we will broadly focus on plans to set targets related to water use and the quality of their meat and dairy supply chains. Additionally, investors will ask companies to implement a strategy to meet their emissions reduction targets and disclose a climate scenario analysis, which is aligned with TCFD recommendations.

Related Reports

See our briefing on these issues to understand how climate and water risks affect quick-service restaurants, and why investors should engage on this issue.

Meat sourcing cover

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