October 16, 2014
For immediate release
Investors can be catalysts in building sustainable food systems, new report says
On the occasion of World Food Day, a new report is drawing attention to the social and environmental challenges facing global food systems and the implications for Canadian investors of unsustainable practices by food companies.
The report, Building Sustainable Food Systems in Canada: A Role for Investors, was released by the Shareholder Association for Research & Education (SHARE), a leading Canadian responsible investment organization. The report was funded by Canadian philanthropic foundations including the J.W. McConnell Family Foundation.
While outlining the negative impacts that corporate activities across the food value chain can have on food system sustainability, the report identifies the ways in which investors can be catalysts in improving corporate policies and practices.
“Our research suggests that Canadian institutional investors have an enormous opportunity to engage with food companies, particularly those at the ’top’ of the food value chain,” says Shannon Rohan, author of the report and SHARE’s Director of Responsible Investment. “By incorporating standards into purchasing and supply chain management practices and by making public commitments to product transparency and healthier food product choices, retailers and food product manufacturers can contribute to greater food system sustainability. For shareholders, greater sustainability means more reliable long-term returns and lower risks.”
Beth Hunter, Program Director at the J.W. McConnell Family Foundation adds: “This report builds a strong case for investor action on food system sustainability. It provides a range of opportunities for investors to engage constructively with companies to help shift Canada’s globally-integrated food system to greater resilience. We look forward to deepening conversations with key stakeholders on these opportunities.”