Transforming the agriculture sector has the potential to improve the lives of millions of people living in poverty around the world. There is growing need for fertile farmland that produce high quality yields, yet poor land management, climate change, and damage to water resources increasingly threatens agricultural output.
Deforestation contributes to carbon emissions, biodiversity loss, and human rights violations. This portfolio invests in companies committed to sourcing key ingredients from only responsible and sustainable sources, and actively working towards zero deforestation.
In addition to healthier soil and decreased groundwater pollution, organic farming helps pollinators thrive and produces more biodiversity than other farming systems. This portfolio invests in companies that we believe are leaders in the organic food space.
Agricultural production will have to increase an estimated 50% by 2050 to meet the needs of the growing population. This portfolio invests in companies that are implementing resilient agriculture practices to increase productivity, adapt to climate change, and improve soil quality.
This portfolio invests in companies that work with farmers to have more sustainable practices, specifically helping the productivity and incomes of small-scale food producers as the foundation for a sustainable agricultural system.
On the chart below, the Sustainable Agriculture Portfolio is compared to the Vanguard 500 over a 1 year timeframe.
Please download the Sustainable Agriculture Portfolio Fact Sheet for more information about the portfolio.
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The Kroger Co. (Kroger) manufactures and processes food for sale in its supermarkets. The Company operates supermarkets, multi-department stores, jewelry stores and convenience stores throughout the United States. In 2018, Kroger donated $192 million in charitable giving to end hunger in their local communities, and provided 316 million meals for food insecure families. The company achieved a 26% food waste diversion year over year, increased total recycling by 19% and reached Zero-Waste status in 34 of their 36 manufacturing plants and supply chain operations.
Beyond Meat, Inc. offers plant-based burgers, and sells a range of plant-based products across three main meat platforms of beef, pork and poultry. As our planet grows and the global demand for food increases, protein alternatives play an important part in ensuring we don’t deplete our planet’s natural resources at a rate faster than they can be replenished. We believe Beyond Meat’s core products contribute to a sustainable food future for the planet by reducing demand on resource-intensive meat products such as beef, pork, and chicken.
The Kraft Heinz Company is a food and beverage company engaged in the manufacturing and marketing of products including condiments and sauces, cheese and dairy, meals, meats, refreshment beverages, coffee and other grocery products. The company works with its suppliers to implement Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) to minimize the adverse effects of farming on the Earth's biodiversity and natural resource supply. The program has resulted in greater yields, decreased water, energy, and chemical use, and increased worker safety.
International Flavors & Fragrances Inc. provides flavor compounds, which are sold to the food and beverage industries for use in consumer products. IFF has a strong commitment to sustainable products and partnerships. The company has certified a variety of their supply chains and facilities through ECOCERT’s For Life program. This rigorous certification recognizes IFF for their transparency, environmental responsibility, sustainable agriculture practices, fair and safe working conditions, and relationships with producers and local communities.
The Estee Lauder Companies Inc. manufactures and markets skin care, makeup, fragrance and hair care products, including skin care, makeup, fragrance, and hair care. In November 2018, Estee Lauder partnered with Solidaridad and other NGO organizations and ingredient suppliers to launch a smallholder farmer initiative focused on more sustainable palm oil production. The partnership seeks to empower 1,000 smallholder farmers to minimize their environmental impacts and seeks to improve their incomes and livelihoods by 2021.
The J. M. Smucker Company, also known as Smucker’s, is a manufacturer of food and beverage products and pet food in North America. We believe Smucker’s has strong programs and policies around sustainable sourcing of its ingredients; The company has partnered with organizations like TechnoServe and the Better Coffee Harvest Project to benefit smallholder farmers in Indonesia, El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua. So far, this project has benefited 16,500 farmers who have seen an average productivity improvement of 39%.
Starbucks Corporation is a roaster, marketer and retailer of coffee. In partnership with Conservation International, Starbucks has committed to sourcing 100% of their coffee ethically. The company has already donated millions of disease-resistant trees to help farmers fight threats such as coffee leaf rust, and is investing $50 million in financing to allow farmers to make renovations and pursue sustainable practices. We believe all of these efforts directly contribute to farmer livelihoods and sustainable, high-quality ingredients.
Hormel Foods Corporation is engaged in the production of a range of meat and food products. The company works diligently across their supply chain to address water use efficiency, soil and nutrient management, and environmental impact minimization. These commitments to sustainable agricultural practices may ensure the protection of biodiversity and natural resources in the communities where Hormel and its supply chain does business.
Keurig Dr Pepper, Inc. was formed through a merger of Keurig and Dr Pepper Snapple Group. Dr Pepper Snapple Group, Inc. is an American soft drink company, based in Plano, Texas, which produces several popular soda brands. We believe KDP has strong policies around sustainable agriculture. The company details ways in which their supply partners must address environmental sustainability issues specific to agriculture. Their policies cover water and energy use, agrochemicals and natural habitats, and measures to protect soil and air quality.