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Industrial animal agriculture is a hugely devastating industry for humans, for animals, and for the planet. Growing feedstock for animals means acres of rainforest are cleared for soybeans; methane emissions from CAFOs (concentrated animal feeding operations) are one of the leading causes of climate change; the resulting manure pollutes local waterways and air; and the crowded conditions of CAFOs lead to high rates of sickness and infection, leading to excessive use of antibiotics — which makes these vital medicines less effective for humans (in fact, farm animals receive approximately 80% of the antibiotics sold in the US). This press release* below comes to us from FAIRR, an investment network that aims to raise awareness of the material impacts factory farming and poor animal welfare can have on investment portfolios, and works to help investors share knowledge and form collaborative engagements on these issues. A major new report has warned that global pensions and savings funds could face a serious bout of ‘financial food poisoning’ due to poor standards of food safety, antibiotic use and environmental management in the Asian meat, dairy and seafood sector. The report from investor network FAIRR and specialist consultancy ARE (Asia Research and Engagement) highlights OECD predictions that Asian meat demand will grow 19% by 2025[1], and urges investors to treat the rise of intensive factory farming across Asia with extreme caution. The report finds: Jeremy Coller, Founder of the FAIRR Initiative and CIO of Coller Capital, said: “Simply put, a failure to reform the Asian meat and dairy industries in areas like food safety, could spell a nasty bout of financial food poisoning for global investors. Investors must step up to the plate. “Investors have a big appetite for Asia’s animal protein sector. But growth is driven by a boom in factory farming which tends to mean more emissions and more epidemics, abuse of antibiotics and abuse of labour. All risks to returns. “It’s exactly three years since McDonalds and KFC reeled from a $10.8bn loss of market cap due to the expired meat scandal in China. But lessons have not been learnt. Far sighted investors are looking to alternative proteins for future growth, with the likes of Asian-owned Quorn growing 19% in the first half of 2017.” Jaideep Panwar, Manager of Sustainability & Governance at Dutch pension giant APG Asset Management Asia said: “Today’s research reminds investors to keep a close eye on the long-term risks of food assets in Asia. Antibiotic resistance is a serious global health risk with long-term potential economic consequences. The evolution of what are now early-stage domestic regulatory moves in Asia, supplier conditions introduced by international brands and import restrictions in response to the misuse of antibiotics in animal production can impact the productivity of Asian producers and their access to markets. Investors will assess the ability of companies in the meat supply chain to position themselves ahead of these risks.” Lauren Compere, Director of Shareholder Engagement at FAIRR member Boston Common Asset Management said: “As active investors in Asia, we see both the potential and the pitfalls of the animal protein sector in Asia. The 19% growth predictions and global supply chain make the sector seem an appetising prospect, but that is not the full story. Growth in Asia is driven by the rise of intensive factory farming and that has led to generally poor standards of food safety, animal welfare and environmental management. Given the global footprint of the Asian meat sector that puts returns at risk for investors here in the US and across world markets.” Stuart Palmer, Head of Ethics Research at Australian Ethical Investment, said: “Population growth, urbanisation and rising incomes in Asia have resulted in a mass shift from traditional farming to industrial farming. But the model is broken. From antibiotics to animal feed, the inputs that Asian factory farms rely on to do business are proving catastrophic for public health and the environment. Global investors are exposed to these risks in myriad ways and in multiple sectors through investments operating in and outside of Asia. It is crucial that investors understand the rapidly evolving Asian food landscape in order to safeguard the value of their investment portfolios and to support development of sustainable food production and consumption models.” “Few issues are as politically sensitive in Asia as food safety. And yet, far too many food sector equities have been priced as if ESG risks don’t matter and that good risk management won’t be recognised in the market. This report makes it clear that the ESG issues afflicting factory farming in Asia are material and growing. It’s time for long-term investors to get on the right side of this trade.” FAIRR’s Asian Factory Farming report also discusses risks in areas such as labour rights, animal welfare and the level of livestock epidemics in the region. This includes the outbreak of avian flu in South Korea in 2016/17, which resulted in culls of more than a fifth of the poultry population, reducing the egg-laying hen population to a 12-year low. The report also shows that all four Chinese and Thai companies assessed by the Business Benchmark on Farm Animal Welfare in 2017 were ranked in its bottom two tiers. It is just over 18 months since FAIRR released its landmark report ‘Factory farming: Assessing investment risks,’ which highlighted 28 ESG risks facing the global factory farming sector. That analysis opened the floodgates on investor concerns in this area and since its launch investors representing over $3 trillion of assets have participated in FAIRR activities. This has included engaging with over 36 global food multinationals on issues such as antibiotics and the sustainability of their protein supply chain. About ARE: Asia Research and Engagement (ARE), based in Singapore, works with financial institutions, companies, and civil society organisations to understand and communicate the financial relevance of sustainability and governance issues. ARE provides specialist research, consultancy and engagement services to help these organisations reach their goals. More about FAIRR investor members: Acrux Partners, ACTIAM, Active Earth Investment Solutions, AEGON Asset Management, Appleseed Capital, Auriel Capital Limited, Australian Ethical Investment, Aviva Investors, Barrow Cadbury Trust, Boston Common Asset Management, Callidus Capital Corporation, Calvert Investments, Christian Super, Clean Yield Asset Management, Coller Capital, ColorStone Co.,Ltd, Cornerstone Capital, Cruelty Free Super, Dana Investment Advisors, Dignity Health, Domini Impact Investments, Equity Investment Corporation, Etho Capital, Farmland LP, Green Century Capital Management, Health Foundation, ICCR, IFM Investors, Impax Asset Management, Industriepartner Capital, Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust, Man Group, Neuberger Berman SRI Team, Quantum Financial Planning LLC, Robeco, Scotiabank Wealth Management, Sonen Capital, SRIC South, Strathclyde Pension Fund, Stray Dog Capital, Sturgeon Ventures LLP, Swift Foundation, The Bard Family Trust, Treebeard Financial Planning, Trillium Asset Management, Triodos SRI Fund, UFF African Agri Investments, Ultra Capital, VaR Capital, VegInvest Trust, Wellesley Group, Zevin Asset Management, LLC. 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LONDON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--A major new report has warned that global pensions and savings funds could face a serious bout of ‘financial food poisoning’ due to poor standards of food safety, antibiotic use and environmental management in the Asian meat, dairy and seafood sector. The report from investor network FAIRR and specialist consultancy ARE (Asia Research and Engagement) highlights OECD predictions that Asian meat supply will grow 19% by 20251, and urges investors to treat the rise of intensive factory farming across Asia with extreme caution. The report finds: Jaideep Panwar, Manager of Sustainability & Governance at Dutch pension giant APG Asset Management Asia said: “Today’s research reminds investors to keep a close eye on the long-term risks of food assets in Asia. Antibiotic resistance is a serious global health risk with long-term potential economic consequences. The evolution of what are now early-stage domestic regulatory moves in Asia, supplier conditions introduced by international brands and import restrictions in response to the misuse of antibiotics in animal production can impact the productivity of Asian producers and their access to markets. Investors will assess the ability of companies in the meat supply chain to position themselves ahead of these risks.” Jeremy Coller, Founder of the FAIRR Initiative and CIO of Coller Capital, said: "Simply put, a failure to reform the Asian meat and dairy industries in areas like food safety, could spell a nasty bout of financial food poisoning for global investors. Investors must step up to the plate. “Investors have a big appetite for Asia’s animal protein sector. But growth is driven by a boom in factory farming which tends to mean more emissions and more epidemics, abuse of antibiotics and abuse of labour. All risks to returns. “It’s exactly three years since McDonalds and KFC reeled from a $10.8bn loss of market cap due to the expired meat scandal in China. But lessons have not been learnt. Far sighted investors are looking to alternative proteins for future growth, with the likes of Asian-owned Quorn growing 19% in the first half of 2017.” Lauren Compere, Director of Shareholder Engagement at FAIRR member Boston Common Asset Management said: "As active investors in Asia, we see both the potential and the pitfalls of the animal protein sector in Asia. The 19% growth predictions and global supply chain make the sector seem an appetising prospect, but that is not the full story. Growth in Asia is driven by the rise of intensive factory farming and that has led to generally poor standards of food safety, animal welfare and environmental management. Given the global footprint of the Asian meat sector that puts returns at risk for investors here in the US and across world markets." "Few issues are as politically sensitive in Asia as food safety. And yet, far too many food sector equities have been priced as if ESG risks don’t matter and that good risk management won’t be recognised in the market. This report makes it clear that the ESG issues afflicting factory farming in Asia are material and growing. It’s time for long-term investors to get on the right side of this trade." Stuart Palmer, Head of Ethics Research at Australian Ethical Investment, said: “Population growth, urbanisation and rising incomes in Asia have resulted in a mass shift from traditional farming to industrial farming. But the model is broken. From antibiotics to animal feed, the inputs that Asian factory farms rely on to do business are proving catastrophic for public health and the environment. Global investors are exposed to these risks in myriad ways and in multiple sectors through investments operating in and outside of Asia. It is crucial that investors understand the rapidly evolving Asian food landscape in order to safeguard the value of their investment portfolios and to support development of sustainable food production and consumption models.” FAIRR’s Asian Factory Farming report also discusses risks in areas such as labour rights, animal welfare and the level of livestock epidemics in the region. This includes the outbreak of avian flu in South Korea in 2016/17, which resulted in culls of more than a fifth of the poultry population, reducing the egg-laying hen population to a 12-year low. The report also shows that all four Chinese and Thai companies assessed by the Business Benchmark on Farm Animal Welfare in 2017 were ranked in its bottom two tiers. It is just over 18 months since FAIRR released its landmark report ’Factory farming: Assessing investment risks’, which highlighted 28 ESG risks facing the global factory farming sector. That analysis opened the flood-gates on investor concerns in this area and since its launch investors representing over $3 trillion of assets have participated in FAIRR activities. This has included engaging with over 36 global food multinationals on issues such as antibiotics and the sustainability of their protein supply chain. For more information or for exclusive interviews with Maria Lettini, Director of FAIRR, please contact: The FAIRR Initiative is a collaborative investor network. It aims to raise awareness of the material impacts factory farming and poor animal welfare can have on investment portfolios, and works to help investors share knowledge and form collaborative engagements on these issues. www.fairr.org Asia Research and Engagement (ARE), based in Singapore, works with financial institutions, companies, and civil society organisations to understand and communicate the financial relevance of sustainability and governance issues. ARE provides specialist research, consultancy and engagement services to help these organisations reach their goals. FAIRR investor members include: Acrux Partners, ACTIAM, Active Earth Investment Solutions, AEGON Asset Management, Appleseed Capital, Auriel Capital Limited, Australian Ethical Investment, Aviva Investors, Barrow Cadbury Trust, Boston Common Asset Management, Callidus Capital Corporation, Calvert Investments, Christian Super, Clean Yield Asset Management, Coller Capital, ColorStone Co.,Ltd, Cornerstone Capital, Cruelty Free Super, Dana Investment Advisors, Dignity Health, Domini Impact Investments, Equity Investment Corporation, Etho Capital, Farmland LP, Green Century Capital Management, Health Foundation, ICCR, IFM Investors, Impax Asset Management, Industriepartner Capital, Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust, Man Group, Neuberger Berman SRI Team, Quantum Financial Planning LLC, Robeco, Scotiabank Wealth Management, Sonen Capital, SRIC South, Strathclyde Pension Fund, Stray Dog Capital, Sturgeon Ventures LLP, Swift Foundation, The Bard Family Trust, Treebeard Financial Planning, Trillium Asset Management, Triodos SRI Fund, UFF African Agri Investments, Ultra Capital, VaR Capital, VegInvest Trust, Wellesley Group, Zevin Asset Management, LLC.


Jmal I.,University of Sfax | Ayed B.,University of Sfax | Boughariou E.,University of Sfax | Allouche N.,University of Sfax | And 3 more authors.
Arabian Journal of Geosciences | Year: 2017

The study region comprises the Sidi Bouzid shallow aquifer, which is located in the western part of Central Tunisia. It is mainly occupied by agricultural land with intensive use of chemical fertilizers especially nitrates. For this reason, nitrate measurement was performed in 38 water samples to evaluate and calibrate the obtained models. Several environmental parameters were analyzed using groundwater nitrate concentrations, and different statistical approaches were applied to assess and validate the groundwater vulnerability to nitrate pollution in the Sidi Bouzid shallow aquifer. Multiple linear regression (MLR), analyses of covariance (ANCOVA), and logistic regression (LR) were carried out for studying the nitrate effects on groundwater pollution. Statistical analyses were used to identify major environmental factors that control the groundwater nitrate concentration in this region. Correlation and statistical analyses were conducted to examine the relationship between the nitrate (dependent variable) and various environmental variables (independent variables). All methods show that “groundwater depth” and “land use” parameters are statistically significant at 95% level of confidence. Groundwater vulnerability map was obtained by overlaying these two thematic layers which were obtained in the GIS environment. It shows that the high vulnerability area coincides with the likelihood that nitrate concentration exceeds 24.5 mg/l in groundwater. The relationship between the groundwater vulnerability classes and the nitrate concentrations provides satisfactory results; it showed an Eta-squared correlation coefficient of 64%. So, the groundwater vulnerability map can be used as a synthetic document for realistic management of groundwater quality. © 2017, Saudi Society for Geosciences.


Ayed B.,University of Sfax | Jmal I.,University of Sfax | Sahal S.,ARE | Bouri S.,University of Sfax
Arabian Journal of Geosciences | Year: 2017

Groundwater resources are vulnerable to contamination especially in shallow aquifers. The aquifer hydrogeological parameters and the Land Uses category combinations lead to subdivide areas according to their contamination likelihood. In arid and semi-arid regions, shallow aquifers are more exposed to groundwater contamination due to high population densities (extensive uses) and agricultural activities (nitrate contamination). Moreover, these regions are characterized by low rainfall and high evaporation. Furthermore, the spread of farmland, industrial and domestic sectors, is the principal contaminant producer which threats the groundwater quality. To protect these limited resources, the groundwater vulnerability assessment was developed in Maritime Djeffara shallow aquifer (Southeastern Tunisia). The study area is essentially occupied by agricultural areas (intensive use of chemical fertilizers) in addition to the discharge of industrial zones. The main objective of this study is to assess the aquifer vulnerability using the Susceptibility Index (SI) method as a specific vulnerability model. The results show that the study area is classified into five classes of vulnerability: very low, low, medium, high, and very high (1.54, 20, 41.54, 35.9, and 1.02%, respectively) with an uneven spatial distribution. The risk results exhibit three degrees: low, moderate, and high. The validation of the vulnerability model was performed by using salinity values and nitrate concentrations with a correlation coefficient of about 57 and 55%, respectively. This study could serve as a scientific basis for sustainable land use planning and groundwater management in the study area. © 2017, Saudi Society for Geosciences.


Boughariou E.,University of Sfax | Saidi S.,University of Sfax | Barkaoui A.E.,University of Mohammed I | Khanfir H.,ARE | And 2 more authors.
Arabian Journal of Geosciences | Year: 2015

The groundwater constitutes the major water resource in the study area of the current paper that is Sfax region. The latter is located in the south of Tunisia where the climate is arid. In fact, the natural groundwater recharge of the region is deeply affected by the lack of precipitations which affects its natural groundwater recharge. The aim of the current paper is to define recharge potential zones and to estimate the rainfall recharge of the shallow groundwater. Henceforth, the potential recharge map was established, based on the basin characteristics using lithology, topography, slope, and stream network parameters. Recharge estimations were based on the numerical methods: the Estimation of Recharge in Overexploited Aquifers (Estimación de la Recarga en Acuíferos Sobreexplotados) (ERAS) numerical model, the Schoeller equation, the Fersi equations, and the Direction Générale des Ressources en Eaux (General Administration of Water resources) (DGRE) coefficients. As a matter of fact, applying the Fersi equations and the DGRE coefficients on the potential zones allowed the deduction of a new spatial repartition of both favorable and unfavorable recharge zones. © 2014, Saudi Society for Geosciences.


Boughariou E.,University of Sfax | Bouri S.,University of Sfax | Khanfir H.,ARE | Zarhloule Y.,University Med I
Desalination and Water Treatment | Year: 2014

Global warming is a worldwide phenomenon causing a temperature increase, which affects water resources. In Tunisia, high temperatures were recorded in the last decades with a warming tendency of about 1.1°C for 2020 and 2.1°C for 2050. The Chaffar region is characterized by an important agricultural activity and a semi-arid climate in which the irregular precipitations reach low values. Its shallow groundwater is overexploited with a disturbed hydraulic balance. A drawdown of its piezometric head has been noticed in the last decade because of high exploitation and rainfall deficit as a consequence of global warming. To highlight the impacts of the climatic changes on water resources in the Chaffar region, a mathematical model was prepared using MODFLOW program. It is of great importance to predict and simulate the effects of global warming on hydraulic head of Chaffar shallow aquifer, which is considered as a forbidden area for creating new wells. Considering a constant consumption, the piezometric maps established for 2020 and 2050 show an important drawdown of the hydraulic heads especially downstream the aquifer. It could be even more alarming by 2050 with a probable seawater intrusion. © 2013 Balaban Desalination Publications. All rights reserved.

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