Green Century Pulls Proposal after Starbucks* Agrees to Eliminate Routine Antibiotic Use in Poultry
Contact: Alex DeBlois, Green Century Capital Management, email@example.com, 617-482-0800
BOSTON, February 7, 2017 — Today, the Green Century Balanced Fund (Green Century) announced that it has withdrawn its shareholder proposal from Starbucks in recognition of the company agreeing to serve only poultry raised without the routine use of medically important antibiotics in its U.S. locations by 2020.
In early September 2016, a consortium of consumer and food safety groups released a report ranking top restaurants on the use of antibiotics in their meat supply chains. Starbucks was ranked among the worst, receiving an ‘F’ in terms of routine antibiotics use for poultry, beef, and pork compared to industry peers. This is significant because according to a recent consumer trends report, 66 percent of consumers said it is important for the stores where they shop to carry meat and poultry products free of antibiotics.
An estimated 70 percent of antibiotics that are important to fighting human infections and ensuring the safety of invasive procedures, such as surgeries, are sold for use in meat and dairy production, leading experts to claim that the overuse of antibiotics in food-animal production is a major contributor to antibiotic resistance. Additionally, The Center for Disease Control says that antibiotic resistance is estimated to cause at least two million human illnesses and 23,000 deaths annually in the U.S.
Large food companies that do not provide meat raised without the routine use of antibiotics are often accused of fueling antibiotic resistance. “It’s our job to promote the values of our investors and evaluate the risks and trends of the market to protect our investments,” Marissa LaFave, Shareholder Advocate at Green Century said. “Our success with Starbucks and other companies on this issue is a win for the environment and public health,” Leslie Samuelrich, President of Green Century added.
With this newly updated policy, Starbucks joins other industry peers including McDonald’s,* Panera Bread,* Subway,* and Chick-fil-A,* which have adopted similar policies that have either ended or plan to phase out the purchase of meat raised with routine antibiotic use.
Starbucks’ updated animal welfare statement also includes a new commitment for all broiler chickens to be produced in alignment with Global Animal Partnership standards by 2024.
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 webpage or call 1-800-934-7336.
About Green Century Capital Management
Green Century Capital Management is the investment advisor to the Green Century Funds and offers three environmentally and socially responsible funds, the Green Century MSCI 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 December 31, 2016, Starbucks Corporation comprised 1.66%, 1.00%, and 0.00%; McDonald’s Corporation comprised 0.00%, 1.27%, and 0.00%; and Panera Bread Company comprised 0.62%, 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 any of the portfolios of the Green Century Funds as of December 31, 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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The Green Century Funds are distributed by UMB Distribution Services, LLC. 2/17