Big food’s unhealthy products leave bitter taste for ESG investors | The Financial Times

6 June 2022

Reporting figures from the Global Index 2021 Product Profile, this Financial Times article reports on the recent legal action taken by Kellogg against the UK government’s proposed restrictions on placement of foods high in fat, salt and sugar (HFSS) in stores.

The article presents some of the regulatory risks and the opportunities faced by food and beverage companies today, highlighting how malnutrition is seen as a systemic risk by investors with holdings in the sector.

““For shareholders like LGIM, nutrition and in particular obesity have become systemic risks for companies we hold across multiple sectors,” said Maria Larsson Ortino, global environmental, social and governance (ESG) manager at Legal and General Investment Management, one of Europe’s largest asset managers.

“We are actively engaging with those companies that have high revenue exposure to unhealthy products, as we believe they are likely to face the dual headwinds of increasing regulation and limitations on marketing of unhealthy foods.”

Nutrition has climbed the agenda as investors interpret ESG principles more broadly, moving beyond climate to social problems, said Bruno Monteyne, an analyst at Bernstein.”

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