INSIGHT by ShareAction
A group of 26 investors responsible for just over $3 trillion of assets, including in the world’s largest food and drink manufacturer Nestlé, have today issued a statement calling on the company to commit to setting targets to improve its impact on population health.
On the eve of Nestlé’s AGM in Switzerland, the investors make clear that the company needs to rebalance its sales towards healthier products if it is to fulfil its ambition “to be at the forefront of the industry when it comes to bringing balanced diets within reach for people around the world”.
The group of investors, coordinated by responsible investment NGO ShareAction, set out in their statement their support for Nestlé’s recent nutrition-focussed disclosure, but said that this wasn’t going far enough. In response to calls from the group last year, Nestlé agreed to report on the healthiness of sales globally and to also report this for 13 key markets using recognised, government-endorsed nutrient profiling models, which it did in March of this year.
Commenting on the eve of Nestlé’s AGM in Lausanne, Switzerland, Simon Rawson, Deputy CEO from ShareAction said:
“Nestlé has said it wants to sell more healthier food, but it hasn’t given assurance that it will also address its less healthy food sales, which is essential to turn the tide against the harmful effects of diet related ill health. “Nestlé has an opportunity to stay ahead of food-related regulation and evolving stakeholder expectations. Recent research published by the World Obesity Federation showed that more than half of the world’s population will be living with overweight or obesity by 2035 unless serious and immediate action is taken. Nestlé, as the world’s largest food and drink manufacturer, could do so much more to support population health.”
ShareAction has been coordinating the Healthy Markets Initiative for over four years. This aims to improve public health by ensuring healthy food and drink products are affordable and accessible to all. It works to boost the integration of health into investment decisions and coordinates collaborative engagement with the food retail and manufacturing sector, aiming to drive improvements in disclosure, performance and target-setting.
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