Long-Sought Report is the Result of 2019 Green Century° Engagement
Boston, February 16, 2021 –Hormel Foods (Hormel) recently released its first report on the use of medically important antibiotics in its pork and poultry supply chain. Hormel agreed to issue the report, which acknowledges the importance of safeguarding medically important antibiotics, as a result of a 2019 Green Century shareholder resolution with the company.
“Hormel’s new antibiotic stewardship report is a welcome milepost in the journey to improved sustainability,” said Green Century Shareholder Advocate Andrea Ranger. “Now that Hormel is measuring and disclosing the use of medically important antibiotics in its supply chain, we hope it continues on this path and significantly reduces their use.”
Hormel’s report summarized data for 75% of its Jennie-O Turkey Store supply, its company-owned sow farm, and four partner hog farms. It demonstrated a clear downward trajectory in the use of medically important antibiotics, but much of that decline could be attributable to increased Federal Drug Administration regulation.
Astoundingly, almost 70% of medically important antibiotics are used in animal agriculture in the U.S. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the misuse of antibiotics in animal agriculture is accelerating the rampant rise of antibiotic-resistant superbugs.
The rise of antibiotic-resistant superbugs poses a tremendous threat to public health. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that Americans suffer more than 2.8 million of all types of antibiotic-resistant infections per year, leading to 35,000 deaths. All told, the WHO projects that, by 2050, 10 million people could lose their lives annually to drug-resistant diseases.
Green Century and other investors have been working for a decade to convince Hormel Foods to decrease the use of antibiotics that primarily are made for humans.
“Hormel’s new report was a longtime coming, but it is a significant development in the effort to protect the efficacy of medically important antibiotics,” said Green Century President Leslie Samuelrich. “The report establishes a necessary baseline of human antibiotics that are administered in the company’s supply chain. It also provides investors with a better understanding of Hormel’s farm operations and its trajectory for the eventual phaseout of the routine use of human-use antibiotics.”
About Green Century Capital Management
°Green Century Capital Management, Inc. (Green Century) is the investment advisor to the Green Century Funds (The Funds). The Green Century Funds are the first family of fossil fuel free, responsible, and diversified mutual funds in the United States. Green Century Capital Management 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 December 31, 2020, Hormel comprised 0.00%, 0.08%, 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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