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FAIRR Initiative Comments on Antibiotic-resistant Salmonella

Chickens Feeding
21 June 2023
Key Topic(s)
Antibiotics & Health

Today, a story by The Bureau of Investigative Journalism has been released detailing the links between a salmonella outbreak in 2020 that resulted in the deaths of five people and the hospitalisation of hundreds, to chicken products sold in major UK supermarkets.

Findings from the Coller FAIRR Protein Producer Index, when reviewed alongside this story, suggest that current guidance and regulation do not go far enough to ensure food safety, as all EU companies included in the Index have GFSI [Global Food Safety Initiative] certification1. Across all companies included in the Index, three quarters now have some level of GFSI-recognised certification, compared to 68% in 2019.

The Investor Action on AMR Initiative, co-founded by FAIRR in 2020, aims to leverage investor influence to combat drug-resistant superbugs, including salmonella. AMR is an urgent public health challenge estimated to cost the world $100 trillion USD in global economic losses, and investors are keenly aware of the need to adapt to the evolving risks and opportunities it presets. This includes the need to diversify business models and product portfolios to safeguard future revenue generation for companies, especially in the food and pharmaceutical sectors.

Jo Raven, Director of Thematic Research & Engagements at the FAIRR Initiative, said:

“Today's latest news reveals the very real risks to humans posed by the everyday use of antibiotics in the protein supply chain. Antimicrobial resistance poses both a global risk to public health and a financial risk to investors in meat producers and retailers. As FAIRR’s Protein Producer Index has shown, this risk continues to rise despite the growing number of companies with Global Food Safety Initiative recognised certification.

“With approximately 70% of antibiotic use occurring in animal agriculture supply chains, it's clear that stronger regulations, and stricter enforcement, will be necessary to ensure food safety and responsible antibiotic use in the protein supply chain.

“As the UK revises its veterinary medicine regulations post-Brexit, there is a real opportunity for the government to increase its ambition and help avoid a repeat of this tragic outcome.”

The link between the chicken products sold, and the outbreak, has been confirmed via DNA analysis, showing that the strain of antibiotic resistant salmonella that resulted in the outbreak originated on chicken farms in Poland that supply major Polish chicken producer and exporter, Superdrob. Moving forward to the present, waste samples collected last month from poultry farms in Poland that produce chickens for SuperDrob tested positive for antibiotic resistant bacteria.


Notes to Editor

1 Global Food Safety Initiative certification, is a recognized standard used in the field of food safety. It serves as a benchmark for assessing and ensuring the safety and quality of food throughout the entire supply chain. GFSI certification is not a specific standard itself, but rather a program that recognizes various food safety standards that meet its requirements. These recognized standards, such as BRC, SQF, and FSSC 22000, are widely accepted and used by food businesses worldwide.


The FAIRR Initiative is a collaborative investor network, founded by Jeremy Coller, with a membership of $70 trillion assets under management. FAIRR works with institutional investors to define the material ESG issues linked to intensive livestock and fish farming systems and provide them with the tools necessary to integrate this information into their asset stewardship and investment decisions. This includes the Coller FAIRR Protein Producer Index, the world’s first comprehensive assessment of the largest global animal protein companies on environmental, social and governance issues. Visit and follow @FAIRRInitiative.

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