Schroders and UBS are among 18 investors to have thrown their weight behind sustainable farming initiative FAIRR in recent months, RI has learned.
FAIRR, which stands for Farm Animal Investment Risk & Return, told RI it had seen “a rapid rise in members” to its investor network in the first half of the year – representing more than $1.3trn of assets under management between them. The investors are:
1. Arisaig Partners (Asia)
2. Castlefield Partners
3. E.G. Thomson Holding
4. Esmee Fairbairn Foundation
5. Five Seasons Ventures
6. Kames Capital
8. MP Investment Management
9. Natural Investments
10. New Crop Capital
13. Sustainable Insight Capital Management
14. Sycomore Asset Management
15. The Polden Puckham Charitable Foundation
16. UBS Asset Management
17. Walden Asset Management
18. InvestEco CapitalThe investor network, which doesn’t carry a membership fee, seeks to facilitate discussion between investors that believe “intensive livestock production poses material risks to the global financial system and hinders sustainable development”. It produces research on issues linked to agriculture and aims to coordinate investor engagement on the topic.
Elly Irving, a Sustainable Investment Analyst at Schroders, said the environmental, health and animal welfare concerns arising from current farming practices “present material issues for food companies as regulatory scrutiny of antibiotic use intensifies, water scarcity risks increase, and consumer expectations continue to evolve”.
FAIRR claims that it has worked with more than 150 investors, managing nearly $5trn, since it launched in 2015. Some of those have joined the network, while others have participated shareholder engagement initiatives.
FAIRR’s Director, Maria Lettini, said the sudden influx of investor members “shows the pace at which the myriad of risks associated with the global food system, and intensive farming in particular, are rising up the ESG agenda”.
The growing demand for sustainable food consumption will be discussed on a dedicated panel at RI Europe next month. For details, see here.