AUM in Action

Investors Take Fast Food Companies to Task on Antibiotic Usage

A group of 71 investors with a collective US$15.2 trillion in assets will be engaging with fast food companies to address antimicrobial resistance (AMR). Led by the FAIRR Initiative, the group will ask companies to disclose the quantity and type of antibiotics used in their animal protein supply chains, and their progress towards antibiotics reduction targets. Engagement efforts will focus on 12 North American fast food restaurant companies, including McDonald’s and Yum! Brands, with the latter owning KFC and Pizza Hut. “Around the world, more antibiotics are given to animals than to humans,” said Jeremy Coller, Founder of the FAIRR Initiative. “By overusing these vital drugs, we are making them less effective against deadly diseases, [which is] a huge risk to both public health and, as the Covid pandemic showed, financial stability.” FAIRR has identified antimicrobial resistance as a US$100 trillion threat to the world economy which the fast food sector can help to mitigate by reducing the use of antibiotics in their supply chains. Katie Frame, Social Engagement Lead at Schroders, said: “To tackle the AMR challenge, we must address both drivers and solutions. The development of new antibiotics and alternative treatments needs to be enhanced, while the mismanagement of antibiotic use in both human and animal health needs to be addressed. By curbing the overuse and misuse of antimicrobials in the animal agriculture supply chain, we can reduce and seek to prevent the potential risks posed by AMR, which we believe will ultimately aid in protecting the global economy and public health.”  

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