Animals, business and investment is perhaps a surprising subject for an EdenTree Insight. However, hopefully this Insight has illustrated the extent of industry’s reliance on animals and animal derived products and services. Some are obvious – however, how many investors would appreciate the dependent reliance of the auto industry on meat processing for hides?
Animals remain a largely invisible part of the supply chain, and their invisibility means welfare can suffer or be overlooked as animal and animal-derived products are used and exploited widely for human use. Some of these activities may present challenges for the responsible investor, and this Insight has clearly sign-posted these. Whilst food remains the main area of use, it is far from being exclusive. For us, intensive farming and unnecessary animal testing remain barred investment activities, but we will have moderate and indirect exposure to animals in leather, wool, entertainment and tourism.
There are also positive opportunities for investment that support the vibrant companion animal market in healthcare, pet food, accessories and pet insurance. In cases where animals are sourced or used we will seek high standards of welfare and where absent we may recommend avoidance. We also seek to engage with companies on the management of animal welfare risks – particularly with partners such as BBFAW.
Finally, we know nature is under pressure and needs help. Business has a role to play as it impacts biodiversity, and we have sought to horizon-scope the main challenges and how investors too can play a role in supporting biodiversity and eco-systems, although this remains an in-depth subject for another time.