April 16, 2019 / News

Investors push food companies on animal welfare

By Joe McGrath, ESG Clarity

Brunel Pension Partnership - which oversees some £30bn in assets - is the latest investor to join a growing initiative

Investors push food companies on animal welfare

A UK local government pension scheme pool, with £30 billion of assets, has signed up to an initiative requiring food companies to embrace higher standards on animal welfare.

The Brunel Pension Partnership, which manages the investments for the local government pension funds for Avon, Cornwall, the Environment Agency and Wiltshire, among others, announced it had signed up to the Business Benchmark on Farm Animal Welfare on Monday (15 April).

The BBFAW Global Investor Collaboration on Farm Welfare is designed to encourage food producers, retailers, wholesalers, restaurants and bars to improve their supply chain knowledge and performance reporting on farm animal welfare.

“Supply chain transparency is vital to consumer trust,” explained Faith Ward, chief responsible investment officer for the Brunel Pension Partnership.

Ward added that she believes the initiative to be “one of the most effective” collaborations for farm animal welfare in the institutional investment world.

There are 22 institutional investors backing BBFAW’s collaboration, representing some £2.4 trillion in assets under management, including Aviva Investors, BNP Paribas Investment Partners, Rathbone Greenbank Investments, Robeco and Schroders.

Rory Sullivan, expert advisor to BBFAW, said that the importance of the investor collaboration is clear.

“Despite significant progress and an increasing number of leadership companies, of the 150 food companies covered by the benchmark, 70 provide little or no information on how they manage or how they perform on farm animal welfare,” he said.

“Investors such as Brunel Pension Partnership have a key role to play in improving standards of farm animal welfare across the global food industry.”