Contact: Kyle W. Kempf, Green Century Capital Management, firstname.lastname@example.org, (617) 482-0800
Boston, August 21, 2019 – Green Century has filed a shareholder proposal with Kraft Heinz (Kraft), regarding the company’s failure to adopt a long-term strategy to diversify its protein products. Kraft is owner of brands such as Kraft Macaroni and Cheese and Oscar Mayer.
“We know Kraft has a way with bologna, but it’s time to change the tune,” said Kyle W. Kempf, Green Century director of communications. “Kraft is not keeping up with the ballooning consumer demand for plant-based protein products and is falling behind its competitors.”
The business case for protein diversification is clear: in 2018, retail sales of plant-based alternatives to traditionally animal-based foods grew more than five times the growth of total food sales. According to a recent FAIRR report, alternative protein will capture 10% of the meat market and reach $100 billion in value in the next 15 years.
Despite this mushrooming market, Kraft has remained notably silent on its ambitions and goals for plant-based protein. In August, Kraft disclosed that first-half revenues in 2019 dropped 4.8%, and operating income sank 55% from the same period last year.
Kraft’s sluggish response to the burgeoning market for plant-based protein is especially problematic in light of the recent UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Special Report on Climate Change, Desertification, Land Degradation, Sustainable Land Management, Food Security, and Greenhouse Gas Fluxes in Terrestrial Ecosystems, which details how the climate crisis is impairing the ability of the Earth’s land to sustain humanity and describes the adoption of plant-based diets as a conspicuous opportunity to mitigate climate change.
The report urged residents in rich nations to immediately reduce their consumption of meat and dairy, as their production has immense environmental impacts, and suggested that governments should consider “factoring environmental costs into food.” The report estimated that these recommended dietary changes could reduce global greenhouse gas emission by up to eight billion tons per year by 2050.
Green Century filed the shareholder proposal in June, and is presenting it at the Kraft Heinz annual shareholder meeting on September 12, 2019, in Pittsburgh.
Green Century remains the only investor in the U.S. to file a shareholder proposal related to alternative protein, having filed the first-ever plant-based protein proposal with Tyson Foods* in 2016.
About Green Century Capital Management
Green Century is the first family of fossil fuel free, responsible, and diversified mutual funds in the United States. Green Century invests in sustainable companies, hosts an award-winning and in-house shareholder advocacy program, and is the only mutual fund company in the U.S. wholly owned by environmental and public health nonprofit organizations.
*As of June 30, 2019, The Kraft Heinz Company comprised 0.00%, 0.17%, and 0.00% of the Green Century Balanced Fund, the Green Century Equity Fund, and the Green Century Green Century International Index Fund respectively. As of the same date, other securities mentioned were not held in the portfolio of the Green Century Funds. 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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