The 2019 FAIRR Index takes a dive into the largest global meat, dairy and fish farming companies involved in breeding, processing and distribution to understand how resilient they are in the face of material environmental and social risks. The Index is currently the world’s only benchmark dedicated to profiling animal protein producers and showcasing critical gaps and areas of best practice in the sector
Of the 60 companies covered by the Index, total market capitalisation can be calculated at $324 billion as of 31 May 2019, with nearly 86% of their combined $319 billion revenue derived from the production, processing and supply of intensively farmed livestock and fish to consumer giants.
Intensive farming – which prioritises feed efficiency and rapid weight gain – is now standard practice across all farmed species. It has helped to increase global meat, egg and milk production by 140% since 1961, and make farm animals, led by cattle and pigs, the largest mammalian biomass on the planet.
The rapid growth of this sector has transformed the availability and accessibility of cheap protein sources and resulted in economic and social benefits. However, these benefits have come at a steep cost: the sector is one of the primary drivers of the most serious environmental and social risks facing our planet and society. Global multinationals that breed, grow, slaughter and process livestock and fish are ultimately on the front lines of managing and mitigating these risks. The lack of scrutiny on the sector has meant that these companies have been allowed to scale their operations, markets and production volumes without clear controls. This creates systemic risks: not just for companies, but also their global food customers, investors, consumers and society at large.
The FAIRR Initiative is working to leverage the power of institutional capital to effect change in the livestock and farmed fish sectors. As such, the primary purpose of this Index is to enable and support investor decision-making on the protein sector. We hope investors will integrate the data and analysis on the performance of these global listed assets into their stewardship and investment decisions. The Index is also a benchmark to help animal protein companies assess themselves against their peers in the sector and improve their management and reporting of risks
Financial Materiality: Risk and opportunity factors
The Index assesses 9 risk and opportunity factors, with each increasingly being played out in financially material terms:
Greenhouse Gas Emissions (GHGs)
Deforestation & Biodiversity Loss
Waste & Pollution