Investors launch drive to promote plant protein

Sep 26, 2016, 6:28 AM EDT
(Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture/flickr)
(Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture/flickr)

A group of 40 investors, holding combined assets worth $1.25 trillion among them, have launched a campaign that seeks to encourage 16 of the world’s major food companies to cut their overreliance on factory farmed livestock and to diversify into plant-based sources of protein. In a letter to the food companies, the investors have cited financial, social and environmental factors that will make it a big challenge to cope with the projected increase in global protein demands in upcoming years.

The campaign by the Farm Animal Investment Risk & Return Initiative (F.A.I.R.R.) comes after a recent Oxford University found that people could save about $1.5 trillion in healthcare and climate change-related costs by 2050 if they reduce their reliance on meat in their diet, writes Reuters.

The investors, who have targeted the likes of Kraft Heinz, Nestle, Unilever, Tesco and Walmart, asked these companies if they have a strategy to benefit from a plant-based protein market, which is likely to grow by 8.4 percent annually over the next five years, reports Business Wire. A Nestle spokeswoman said that the company’s focus is not at replacing meat as the source of protein but in innovating new products using alternate proteins.