Green Century Shareholder Proposal Prompts Action From Producer of Everything From Salad Dressing to Cake Mix
Media Contacts: Thomas Peterson, firstname.lastname@example.org, 781-349-2615; Mark Morgenstein, Media Relations Director, email@example.com, 678-427-1671
Boston, July 8, 2022 – Conagra, the packaged foods giant known for brands like Slim Jim, Orville Redenbacher’s, and Duncan Hines, has agreed to set a time-bound goal for eliminating deforestation from its supply chains. This commitment comes in exchange for the withdrawal of a Green Century° shareholder proposal calling on the company to stop sourcing ingredients from deforested or degraded land by 2025.
“Customers don’t want to tuck into a Chef Boyardee meal that could be responsible for razing tracts of Amazon rainforest, and investors are increasingly demanding that companies address the material risks posed by deforestation” said Green Century shareholder advocate Thomas Peterson. “That’s why we’re glad to see Conagra step up and agree to stop buying ingredients from suppliers who are responsible for the destruction of tropical forests.”
Conagra purchases beef, palm oil, soy and cocoa for use in products including Hebrew National hot dogs, Marie Callender’s frozen meals and Swiss Miss hot cocoa mix, among others. These commodities are the leading drivers of deforestation worldwide, particularly in at-risk areas such as the rainforests of Brazil, Indonesia, and Côte d’Ivoire.
Conagra identifies JBS,* the world’s largest meat processor, as a major supplier of beef. A recent Bloomberg investigation determined that the JBS supply chain is “among the biggest drivers of Amazon deforestation the world has ever known,” and Reuters reported in 2021 that an audit conducted by Brazilian prosecutors found that JBS purchased more than 300,000 cattle from ranches in the Amazon with “irregularities” including illegal deforestation.
“Conagra has made significant progress in sourcing more sustainable palm oil since reaching a landmark agreement with Green Century in 2014 to end sourcing from palm oil suppliers engaged in deforestation. It’s time for Conagra to extend that standard to its beef and other supply chains, and end sourcing from suppliers that are driving the destruction of the Amazon rainforest,” said Peterson.
Scientists, NGOs, and other stakeholders increasingly agree that corporate science-based emissions targets are not attainable without ending deforestation, and that companies must eliminate deforestation from their supply chains no later than 2025 in order to limit biodiversity loss and reduce emissions in alignment with the Paris Agreement.
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 mutual funds. 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, Conagra Brands, Inc. 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. 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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