Contact: Kyle Kempf, Green Century Capital Management, email@example.com, (617) 482-0800
BOSTON, MARCH 29, 2019 – Following a multi-year engagement with Green Century, Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE: DRI), the largest casual dining operator in the U.S., yesterday announced that it was adopting a policy to phase out the use of medically important antibiotics in its chicken supply chain by 2023.
“Although Darden would have been better served to be at the forefront of the restaurant industry’s efforts to safeguard human health, I’m gratified that it finally acted on the risks posed by antibiotic misuse,” said Green Century President Leslie Samuelrich. “It’s simply unacceptable to undermine the foundation of modern medicine to indiscriminately expose healthy animals to medically-important antibiotics.”
In 2018, Green Century filed an antibiotic-use shareholder proposal with Darden Restaurants for the third consecutive year. At Darden’s September 2018 annual meeting, Green Century’s shareholder proposal received a noteworthy 40.2% support of votes cast.
In its shareholder proposal, Green Century emphasized that Darden’s failure to eliminate medically-important antibiotics from its supply chain exposed it to a number of business risks, especially those related to changing consumer preferences, reputational damage, competitive pressure, and strengthening regulation.
Antibiotic resistance is a global public health crisis, according to the World Health Organization, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the General Assembly of the United Nations. Antibiotic resistant bacteria sicken 2 million Americans each year, and may be responsible for as many as 150,000 annual premature deaths in the U.S., which would make it the third highest cause of death in the country.
Experts attribute the rise of antibiotic-resistance superbugs to the overuse of antibiotics in food-animal production. An astounding 70% of medically important antibiotics in the U.S. are sold for use in livestock, predominantly for prophylactic purposes rather than treatment.
About Green Century Capital Management
Green Century offers three environmentally and socially responsible mutual funds. Through fossil fuel free investing and our three-pronged approach of sustainable investing, active shareholder advocacy, and support of environmental and public health non-profits we work to curb climate change, improve environmental policies, and limit environmental impacts of company supply chains.
*As of December 31, 2018, Darden Restaurants, Inc. comprised 0.00%, 0.12%, and 0.00% of the Green Century Balanced Fund, the Green Century Equity Fund, and the Green Century International Index Fund, respectively. 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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This information has been prepared from sources believed reliable. The views expressed are as the date of this writing and are those of the Advisor to the Funds.
The percentage in favor was calculated by (i) dividing the number of votes in support of the proposal by (ii) the sum of the number of votes voted in support of and against the proposal. Abstentions and broker non-votes were not included in the calculation.
The Green Century Funds are distributed by UMB Distribution Services, LLC. 235 W Galena Street, Milwaukee, WI 53212. 3/19