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Public Equity Investing in Sustainable Food and Agriculture

Public Equity Investing in Sustainable Food and Agriculture

Published 06-12-23

Submitted by GreenMoney Journal

Paul Hilton article - photo

by Paul Hilton, Trillium Asset Management

Trillium’s Sustainable Opportunities thematic suite of public equity strategies aims to address global sustainability challenges in three core areas: climate solutions, economic inclusion, and healthy living. Since 2008, Sustainable Opportunities has looked to identify companies benefiting from the shift to a more sustainable economy. As an intersecting theme, sustainable food and agriculture cuts across these issues, and yet it is a difficult theme to play in public equities.

The three general categories of sustainable food and agriculture investments in public markets include: 

• Agricultural and irrigation equipment,  
• Food production and distribution,  
• Food retailers, food service, and restaurants.

The planet needs more food, and more equitable food distribution, to meet the needs of a growing global population. A 2021 FAO study found that 690 million people globally are hungry, 9% of the world population. And yet we are faced with a scarcity of resources made more insecure based on the growing threats related to climate change, including extreme weather events, invasive pest spread, and plant migration. Agriculture and food production are a big part of the climate change problem, representing 19-29% of total greenhouse gas emissions.

Unfortunately, many large companies focused on agriculture in the public markets have been involved in factory farming, deforestation, prevalent use of pesticides, and excessive water consumption. Some have also been implicated in land grabs that have helped to push smaller farmers out of business.

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Trillium began engaging companies on food more than 20 years ago, when it became the first investment firm to file a shareholder proposal on the issue of animal welfare. In 2002, Trillium also became the first sustainable investment firm to file a shareholder proposal on the issue of GMO labeling at Whole Foods Markets. More recently, we have engaged on issues including food waste, packaging, and climate targets.

Read Paul's full article here -



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GreenMoney Journal

GreenMoney Journal is an award-winning eJournal and website that focuses on sustainable investing and business. GreenMoney Journal was founded by Cliff Feigenbaum in 1992 and today he serves as Publisher and Managing Editor of this very trusted brand. Cliff is also the co-author of "Investing With Your Values" (Bloomberg Press, NYC). In 2017 Mr. Feigenbaum he was chosen as the co-winner of the "SRI Service Award" by his peers at The SRI Conference. In 2021, He won the "Media Innovator Award" from Corporate Vision and most recently in early 2022, Mr. Feigenbaum was named one of the Top 100 DEI Leaders for 2021 by Mogul.

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