Investors will ask 12 large fast food restaurant companies for disclosure and target-setting aligned with World Health Organization guidelines to tackle antimicrobial resistance (AMR) threat from livestock production
New engagement to address a leading driver of the $100 trillion AMR threat to global economy
Formal fast food restaurant company assessment against engagement framework to be published Spring 2024. Companies include: McDonalds, Yum! Brands (owners of KFC and Pizza Hut) and Restaurant Brands International (owners of Burger King)
“Investors are seeking to address the significant risk that AMR poses to the global economy, investment portfolios, and public health.” Dr Emma Berntman, Senior Engagement Specialist, FAIRR Initiative
(London, 22 May 2023): The $70 trillion-backed FAIRR investor network today called on investors to join its new Restaurant Antibiotics Engagement, with a deadline for new signatories of 3rd July 2023.
The engagement will target twelve North American fast food restaurant companies, many with a global reach, including McDonalds, Yum! Brands (owners of KFC and Pizza Hut) and Restaurant Brands International (owners of Burger King).
The investor coalition will ask companies to disclose information in response to the engagement assessment framework (see notes to editor) – which is aligned with World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines for addressing the risk of AMR in animal agricultural supply chains.
The engagement opens for investor signatories following a period of consultation with FAIRR investor members and external experts, and takes learnings from FAIRR’s previous engagement with global restaurant companies which ran from 2016-2019 – and resulted in 19/20 companies disclosing publicly available antibiotic policies, up from one at the outset.
After a period of collaborative engagement, including an initial written request for responses on behalf of the investor coalition and an invitation for meetings to discuss companies’ approach to antibiotic use in their supply chain, FAIRR will publish the first formal company assessments against the framework in Spring 2024.
Dr Emma Berntman, Senior Engagement Specialist at the FAIRR Initiative, and lead on the new Restaurant Antibiotics Engagement, said:
"Despite positive movement on antibiotic policy at many of the targeted fast food chains during FAIRR’s previous engagement, progress appears to have stalled. Investor focus on the ‘silent pandemic’ of AMR is gaining momentum as the world emerges from the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic – with shareholder resolutions on the issue filed at Hormel Foods, Tyson Foods and McDonald’s already this year."
"Investors are seeking to address the growing risk that AMR poses to the global economy, investment portfolios, and public health. Intensive livestock production is widely regarded as a key driver in the spread of antimicrobial resistance and this new engagement provides an opportunity for investors to engage constructively with these global brands to understand what constructive actions they are taking."
For more information, including interviews and comments, please contact:
Mike Marshall, ESG Communications
t: + 44 (0)7728 816 426 | e: [email protected]
*Full list of companies targeted by the engagement: Bloomin’ Brands, Brinker International, Darden Restaurants, Domino Pizza, McDonalds, Papa Johns, Starbucks, Texas Roadhouse, The Cheesecake Factory, Wendy’s, Yum! Brands and Restaurant Brands International.
Restaurant Antibiotics Engagement Assessment Framework
1.1 Company discloses its level of exposure to key purchased proteins.
Ambition level of policy
2.1 Company discloses what antibiotic categories are covered by its policy for each protein type.
2.2 Company discloses the proportion of suppliers/restaurants its policy covers.
3.1 Company tracks and discloses the quantity of antibiotics used in its supply chain.
3.2 Company discloses evidence of auditing to ensure compliance with its policy.
3.3 Company discloses how it manages non-compliance with its policy.
Forward looking target setting
4.1 Company discloses an antibiotics reduction target.
4.2 Company discloses what proportion of its suppliers/restaurants its target covers.
4.3 Company discloses evidence of progress towards its target.
The FAIRR Initiative is a collaborative investor network, founded by Jeremy Coller, with a membership of $70 trillion in collective assets of support. 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 Index, the world’s first comprehensive assessment of the largest global animal protein companies on environmental, social and governance issues. Visit www.fairr.org and follow @FAIRRInitiative.