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Meat Sector Working Conditions Driving Labour Shortages

Investor network FAIRR Initiative has published findings from a US$16 trillion investor engagement with seven of the largest meat companies on working conditions. FAIRR’s findings at companies including Tyson Foods, WH Group and Marfrig showed “backward steps” on working conditions, which played a key role in exacerbating labour shortages in the sector. There is concern from investors – 77 in total, including Pictet Asset Management and Wespath Benefits and Investments, supported FAIRR’s engagement – that poor labour practices and labour shortages pose an “ongoing financial risk” which impacts business productivity and exacerbates setbacks in production. Evidence offered by FAIRR shows worker shortages are becoming more prevalent, with plant-level health and safety risks faced by workers impacting working conditions. Jeremy Coller, Chair and Founder at FAIRR Initiative, said: “Poor working conditions disrupt operations, erode health and safety standards and are a clear financial risk for investors in meat companies. During Covid, the meat sector stepped up to address labour risks, however many of these improved policies have been reversed.” 

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