Media Contact: Andrea Ranger, firstname.lastname@example.org, 781-349-2813
Boston, May 16, 2022 –Deere & Company, the manufacturer of the iconic John Deere tractor and a wide array of other agriculture equipment, relented on its anti-right-to-repair stance. Acknowledging its “customers’ desire for more autonomy in managing their equipment,” Deere announced in March that it would provide a better repair process by improving remote mobile access to equipment and the ability to download software updates on certain equipment.
Green Century° had filed a shareholder proposal with Deere in September, asking it to account for its anti-competitive repair policies. Shortly after, the company requested that the Securities and Exchange Commission dismiss the resolution, rather than allow its shareholders to vote on the matter. Deere argued to the SEC it had already addressed the request of the resolution by publicly stating its right to repair policies.
Green Century President Leslie Samuelrich reacted to the news by saying, “Deere is improving its repair support in response to the tidal wave of pressure from farmers, independent mechanics, investors, lawmakers, regulators, advocacy groups, and customers, a number of whom are taking it to court. However, Deere did not follow through on its previous commitment, so we need to be vigilant.”
Pressure mounting on Deere to address right to repair
Deere has been under increasing pressure from advocacy organizations, such as U.S. PIRG, to provide the tools and software needed to fix its tractors and combines. Pressure has also been mounting in capitals across the country: The “Agricultural Right to Repair Act” was introduced in the U.S. Senate in February and 34 state legislatures have considered right to repair bills in recent years. In addition, farmers from seven different states have filed lawsuits in federal court claiming that Deere has monopolized the market for repair and maintenance of its equipment. Deere has disputed that claim.
“For Deere, it’s a classic case of you reap what you sow. Deere has been pushing the limits of its customers’ patience, and farmers need affordable and timely repairs,” said Green Century Shareholder Advocate Andrea Ranger. “I hope that Deere’s new repair policies will mend fences with farmers and other customers, but that remains to be seen.”
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 a family of fossil fuel free, environmentally 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 March 31, 2022, Deere & Company comprised 0.86%, 060%, and 0.00% of the Green Century Balanced Fund, the Green Century Equity Fund, and the Green Century International Index Fund respectively. As of the same date, other securities mentioned were not held in the portfolios of any 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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