Activist group pushes Hormel for better antibiotic reporting in shareholder proposal

The Shareholder Commons brought a similar proposal to McDonald's and Yum Brands last year.


By Brooks Johnson, Star Tribune (MN)

January 7, 2022


A shareholder activist group wants Hormel Foods to issue a report on "the external environmental and public health costs" of antibiotic use in the meat it sources and how those costs could affect the company, investors and the global economy.


"Hormel is aware that overuse of antibiotics puts the global health system at risk," the Shareholder Commons, a Delaware-based nonprofit, wrote in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing this week. "The company must make decisions about how much to invest in fighting AMR," or anti-microbial resistance, which can reduce the effectiveness of certain medicines in animals and humans.


The group wants shareholders to vote for the proposal at Hormel's annual meeting later this month.


The Austin, Minn.-based company's board of directors is recommending a vote against the proposal, saying such a report "would not be beneficial given the company's already robust antibiotic stewardship, continuous improvement and environmental sustainability efforts within our supply chain."


"The study requested by the stockholder proposal would incur unnecessary expense and divert management's attention from what the company is in the best position to control ensuring stewardship of antibiotics within our supply chain," the board wrote in its proxy statement...


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