There is an urgent need for a food system that will sustain the world’s people both now and for future generations. Agricultural production will need to increase 70% to feed the global population of 9 billion expected by 2050. Moreover, as a result of unfair trade, production and distribution practices, today’s food system fails to provide equitable access to nutrition for nearly one in seven people. The situation is exacerbated by the impact of climate change, which has produced increased flooding, and more frequent and enduring droughts. In addition, An unprecedented number of people around the world have resorted to food banks for emergency supplies since the COVID19 pandemic triggered widespread layoffs.
How businesses respond to these growing pressures on our world’s food supply will determine whether hunger and poverty are eradicated or soar to new heights.
Featured ICCR Initiatives
Calling for Increased Covid-19 Protections for Meat Workers. In May of 2020, ICCR released a joint statement endorsed by 118 institutions with $2.3 trillion USD in combined assets that highlighted risks to workers in the meat sector due to the COVID19 pandemic, and contained specific recommendations to help safeguard all stakeholders, workers, and their families and communities. Our recommendations include:
- Enforce physical distancing and reduce line speed;
- Provide wage increases to reflect the increased risks to workers, and full paid sick-leave for all workers who test positive for the virus;
- Support worker’s rights to freedom of association and collective bargaining;
- Rigorous testing before/after shifts and retesting and quarantining of all employees who have had confirmed contact with other infected persons before allowing them back in the plant; and,
- Clarify that the company opposes any and all federal or state policies that would deny meatpacking and poultry workers unemployment benefits or stimulus relief for refusing to go back to work for fear of contracting COVID19.
Calling on Food and Beverage Companies and Retailers to Help Mitigate the Worst Impacts of COVID19. In early June of 2020 investors sent letters to food & beverage companies (Campbell's Soup; Cocal Cola; Conagra; General Mills; Kellogg's, Keurig Dr. Pepper; Kraft Heinz; Mondelez; Nestle, PepsiCo and Unilever) and retailers (Kroger, Target and Dollar Tree), asking the companies to scale-up their efforts to protect the health and safety of their employees and customers. Specifically investors asked companies to address short-term demands on the food supply chain by:
- Strengthening the accessibility and affordability of food products
- Ensuring worker, customer, visitor and vendor safety during the crisis
- Ensuring the quality of food donations and incorporating healthy guidelines into the company’s donation policies.