The rate of antibiotic resistance has risen to dangerously high levels in all parts of the world, and this threat is continuing at pace.
In 2017, scientists found that a gene allowing resistant bacteria to move from animals to humans had spread to over 30 countries; while in the US a superbug, which is resistant to all 26 available antibiotics, was reported to have killed a woman in Nevada. These are just a few examples of the emergence of antimicrobial resistance (AMR), estimated to be responsible for 700,000 deaths around the world each year. This is a trend that the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) considers one of the world’s “most serious health threats”.
Political attention to this issue is escalating. UK Chief Medical Officer, Sally Davies, has warned that we may face the ‘end of modern medicine’ if we fail to overcome the AMR challenge. Through industry press, former Belgian PM, Mark Eyskens, has urged the European Union to take more decisive action to prevent a global health crisis. Following this, international governments, the United Nations and multi-lateral institutions met in Berlin in October 2017 to identify gaps in tackling the development and spread of AMR, and to commit to a concerted and tangible actionplan.
We believe that companies and investors have a key role to play in driving progress forward on this crucial issue. With this statement, we aim to demonstrate investor support for antibiotics stewardship policies while helping companies to use antibiotics in a safer way.
About the FAIRR Initiative
Established by Jeremy Coller, Founder and Chief Investment Officer of Coller Capital, the FAIRR Initiative and its founding members believe that a worrying knowledge gap has emerged amongst the investment community who may not be aware of the environmental, social and governance (ESG) risks and opportunities within the global protein supply chain.
FAIRR intends to close this knowledge gap by ensuring that investors understand the key ESG risk and opportunity factors for intensive livestock production and the growing alternative protein sector. We also endeavour to support investors as they assess these issues as part of their investment decision-making processes.
On behalf of our investor network, we engage with a range of food companies on selected ESG issues. Our engagement on the use of antibiotics in livestock supply chains is supported by 74 investors with nearly $5 trillion in combined assets.