Share Action

Investors urged to support Nestlé health resolution

(Wednesday 20th March) Following last week’s news that ShareAction, alongside a coalition of investors, had successfully filed a resolution for the upcoming AGM of the world’s largest food and drink company Nestlé, the responsible investment charity has today written to hundreds of Nestlé shareholders seeking their support for the resolution.

These include some of the world’s largest asset managers such as Vanguard, Blackrock, JP Morgan Asset Management, Aviva Investors and Fidelity Investments.

ShareAction has also published a 19 page ‘investor briefing’ that sets out compelling evidence of the risks of investing in a company which relies heavily on sales of food and drinks that fall into a widely accepted public health definition of unhealthy. Failure to strategically shift sales to healthier products could lead to sustained attrition in Nestlé’s brand value and long-term financial returns.

Among the key points the briefing sets out for shareholders:

  • Nestlé’s continued reliance on less healthy sales puts the company at reputational and regulatory risk;
  • Maintaining a higher proportion of unhealthy to healthy products will have negative impacts for public health;
  • Poor population health contributes to reduced productivity and economic growth, which poses systemic risks for diversified investors;
  • Research has shown that consumers want access to an increased variety of food, including healthier options;
  • Investors have an opportunity to support Nestlé to adapt and become a world leader on health.

The briefing can be read in full here.

Commenting on the engagement with Nestlé’s shareholders, Thomas Abrams, Co-Head of Health at ShareAction said:

“Diet-related ill health is a major global public health challenge. While we think responsible investors should care about the adverse health impacts that Nestlé’s less healthy food products have on the world, we believe it is firmly in shareholders’ own interests that the company reduce its reliance on the sales of less healthy food and drink.

“We’re urging investors to read this briefing and recognise the evidence we’ve put in front of them. Our shareholder proposal addresses regulatory, reputational and legal risks, as well as changing consumer expectations. By supporting the resolution, investors can help Nestlé move away from its over-reliance on unhealthy food, support better population health and protect their investments.”

Earlier this month ShareAction and a group of shareholders announced they had filed a resolution demanding Nestlé set a target to improve the ratio of unhealthy to healthy food products it offers consumers. The resolution will be voted on at Nestlé’s AGM on the 18th April 2024.

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