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Investor group pushes for alternatives to animal proteins

A group of institutional investors wants global food companies to reduce their reliance on animals for protein sourcing.

The investor coalition, coordinated by the Farm Animal Investment Risk and Return initiative, includes the 345.9 billion Swedish kronor ($43.6 billion) AP2, Stockholm, and Aviva Investors. FAIRR was founded by Jeremy Coller, chief investment officer at Coller Capital.

The group, which represents $2.4 trillion in assets under management, added its support to a new report, "Plant-Based Profits," which analyzed 16 multinational companies and determined how they would benefit from a transition to plant-based proteins.

"Protein diversification is increasingly recognized by institutional investors as a relevant (environmental, social and governance) theme," said the report. "Not only is it intrinsically linked to multiple social and environmental issues, but it also helps investors improve their portfolio performance against the sustainable development goals."

The financial case for engagement is clear, according to the report.

FAIRR's report cited data showing annual global sales of plant-based meat alternatives have grown on average 8% per year since 2010. That is about twice the rate of processed meat. It said industry estimates expect the sector globally to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 8.29% between 2017 and 2021.

The report also highlights forecasts for alternative proteins companies and also evaluated the multinationals' business strategies, monitoring processes and consumer engagement.

The report is available for download; registration is required.