ShareAction Investor Briefing – Factory Farming

Share Action – Factory Farming Investor Briefing, December 2015

This briefing sets out the case for greater investor scrutiny of the factory farming sector. After providing an overview of the rapid industrialisation of livestock production, the briefing explores the wide-ranging and often interconnected web of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) risks the industry faces; offering specific recommendations to advance with investee companies. These findings draw upon research commissioned by Farm Animal Investment Risk and Return (FAIRR).

Key themes for investor engagement include:

  • Close-confinement of animals
  • Climate change
  • Routine use of non-therapeutic antibiotics
  • Land rights in supply chains

Compared to sectors such as energy and extractives, companies directly and indirectly exposed to intensive livestock production (“factory farming”) have received relatively minimal shareholder attention regarding ESG risks. At the same time, there are upside opportunities for investors who give closer attention to how sustainability issues will play out in the agricultural and food sector, creating future corporate winners. This briefing addresses both the risks posed and opportunities available for investors with exposure to factory farming.