Move comes after implementation of enhanced animal welfare policy
Contact: Alex DeBlois, Green Century Capital Management, email@example.com, 617-482-0800
BOSTON, December 22, 2016 – Today, the Green Century Equity Fund (Green Century) announced that after successful dialogue, it has withdrawn its shareholder proposal from Jack in the Box, Inc., owner of Jack in the Box and Qdoba Mexican Eats, after the company adopted a policy to reduce its use of medically important antibiotics in its poultry supply chain.
In September, Green Century filed a shareholder proposal requesting the company’s board adopt an enterprise-wide, time-bound policy regarding an end to the non-therapeutic use of medically important antibiotics in the company’s meat supply chain. “More and more consumers are concerned about what goes into the food that reaches their plates, including antibiotics,” Marissa LaFave, Shareholder Advocate at Green Century, said. “In addition to addressing the ethical treatment of animals, animal well-being, and human health, we also see this as a commercial opportunity for Jack in the Box,” Leslie Samuelrich, President of Green Century, added.
The Center for Disease Control says that antibiotic resistance is estimated to cause more than two million human illnesses and 23,000 deaths annually in the U.S. By 2050, the World Health Organization expects the latter number to rise to 10 million people annually, worldwide. Seventy percent of human-class antibiotics in the U.S. are sold for use on food animals, leading experts to claim that the overuse of antibiotics in food-animal production is a major contributor to antibiotic resistance.
The issue of antibiotic resistance is a serious one and consumers have taken notice. Retail sales of antibiotic-free chicken increased 34 percent in 2013. Similarly, a 2012 Consumer Reports poll found that 86 percent of consumers said meat raised without antibiotics should be available where they shopped. Currently, antibiotic-free beef, pork and chicken only account for about 5 percent of meat sold in the United States, but according to recent trends, that number is growing quickly and may be an opportunity for early-movers in the food industry.
The Jack in the Box policy states that the company “does not purchase poultry that has received antibiotics important to human health for purposes of growth promotion or feed efficiency. Additionally, we are working with our suppliers to eliminate other routine uses of medically important antibiotics in poultry, including disease prevention, by 2020.” The new antibiotics policy was published to the company’s website on December 16th.
With this policy, Jack in the Box joins other industry peers such as McDonald’s,* Panera Bread,* Subway,* and Chick-fil-A,* which have adopted similar policies against purchasing meat raised with routine antibiotic use.
To learn more about Green Century’s sustainable investment strategy, advocacy efforts, and how you can make an impact with the power of your investments, please visit our Why Choose Green Century webpages or call 1-800-934-7336.
About Green Century
Green Century Capital Management is the investment advisor to the Green Century Funds and offers three environmentally and socially responsible funds, the Green Century International Index Fund, the Green Century Equity Fund, and the Green Century Balanced Fund. Green Century works to curb climate change through fossil fuel free investing, reinvestment in sustainable companies, and advocating with companies to improve their environmental policies and supply chains.
*As of September 30, 2016, the holdings of the International Index Fund are valued at cost. As of the same date, Jack in the Box, Inc. comprised 0.00%, 0.04%, and 0.00%, McDonald’s Corporation comprised 0.00%, 1.29%, and 0.00%, and Panera Bread Company comprised 0.59%, 0.00%, and 0.00% of the Green Century Balanced Fund, Green Century Equity Fund, and Green Century International Index Fund respectively. Other securities mentioned were not held in the portfolios of the Green Century Funds as of September 30, 2016. References to specific securities, which will change due to ongoing management of the Funds, should not be construed as a recommendation by the Funds, their administrator, or their distributor.
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