Tri-State CRI takes a holistic approach to promoting food justice and sustainable agriculture, working to address both the environmental and social aspects of sustainable food production. Our current focus areas include antibiotics in meat production, deforestation and ethical recruitment, food waste, and increasing access to nutrition.
Focus Company – Hormel Foods
As consumer and public awareness around the risks of overuse of antibiotics increases, Tri-State CRI believes that companies have a responsibility to responsibly use antibiotics in their operations and to adapt their business to remain competitive in a changing consumer environment. We participate in a long-standing dialogue with other ICCR members with Hormel Foods addressing the issue of antibiotic use in meat production. Hormel recently adopted an Antibiotic Stewardship Statement as a result of investor engagement. The company also acquired an antibiotic free line of pork, Applegate Farms. Investors continue to work with Hormel on ways to improve antibiotic stewardship and reduce the negative consequences on human health associated with overuse of antibiotics.
Deforestation & Ethical Recruitment
Focus Company – ADM
The production of commodities such as palm oil, soy, cattle, and timber is a major driver of deforestation in the Amazon and the Cerrado, negatively impacting the land and community livelihoods. Workers in these supply chains are also at risk of unethical recruitment practices and other human rights violations. Tri-State CRI engages with ADM on the cross-sections between these two issues. Our advocacy led ADM to adopt a Human Rights Policy in 2014, (which was updated in 2017), including specific reference to ethically recruiting workers throughout its supply chain, and Tri-State CRI has monitored the implementation of this policy since that time. Work with ADM has also focused on deforestation in its soybean and palm oil supply chains, where ADM has worked to establish “traceability” in these supply chains to identify and eliminate deforestation. We also encourage the company to use and disseminate best management practices to reduce the harmful impacts of agriculture on soil and water.
Focus Company – Cracker Barrel
We engage on food waste because each year, approximately 40% of food produced in the U.S. — nearly 133 billion pounds, or $165 billion dollars’ worth — goes uneaten. This is an area of concern because of the widespread hunger and malnutrition throughout the world, as well as the negative climate impacts to grow food that goes uneaten. On behalf of the American Baptist Home Mission Society (ABHMS) Tri-CRI supports an engagement with Cracker Barrel on limiting food waste. The goal of this engagement is to encourage the company to optimally manage food waste and to increase its disclosure. Investors joined a call to introduce the issue to the company and potential ways to improve practices, such as introducing smaller portions, tracking food waste systematically, and developing more strategic food donation systems.
Tri-CRI supports efforts led by ICCR on nutrition to address the contrasting public health issues of malnutrition and obesity. Focus areas include increasing access to healthy food options and responsible marketing to children. ICCR members have taken a sector-wide approach to address access to nutrition by engaging companies in the following sectors: food and beverage, restaurants, retail, and media. Engagement asks may range from adopting a nutrition policy to adjusting menu offerings for children.
A Guide to Traceability, BSR & UN Global Compact
Trillium Food Waste Report
USDA: Sustainable Agriculture Definitions and Terms
National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition
Ceres: Feeding Ourselves Thirsty Report
Field to Market
Stranded Assets In Agriculture Report
UN Global Compact: Sustainable Agriculture Portal
Food and Water Watch Report Genetically Engineered Food: Human Health Risks
NRDC: Going Mainstream: Meat and Poultry Raised Without Routine Antibiotics Use
Engage the Chain: An Investor Guide on Agricultural Supply Chain Risk (Ceres)