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Navigating Regulatory Waters: Friend or Food? How To Stay Ahead in Financial Services

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The super fund has already ruled out production of animals for human nutrition to invest in but even plant-based nutrition firms such as Beyond Meat do not fit into its ethical framework.

The country’s most ethically branded superannuation fund Australian Ethical has some of the most stringent guidelines when it comes to investments.

For a firm to be invested in at the $8.68bn superannuation fund, the investment team will first pitch it to the ethics team (or vice versa), who will then decide whether it fits the ethical framework. If it does, the investment team can then decide if they want to invest in it.

Speaking to CityWire, the super fund’s ethical stewardship lead Amanda Richman said her team focused on four strategic areas: the financing of fossil fuels in Australia, livestock-driven deforestation in Australia, animal research and hard-to-abate emissions in the buildings sector.


Food production

One of the most interesting debates Richman said the team had had in recent times was the fund’s approach to food. The fund has a hard-line view on animal agricultural production and has ruled out all conventional animal agriculture, including organic and free range production.

‘The most interesting discussion was how we applied that to Blackmores because it is a healthcare company that provides vitamins but a significant part of its range is fish oil tablets. We had a big debate on whether fish oil tablets were food or not,’ she said.

‘We settled that if we’re going to rule out producing fish for human nutrition it doesn’t matter whether that’s in the form of fish on a plate or fish in a tablet and we believe there are more sustainable alternatives that achieve the same benefits.’

This is an extract from an article written by Jassmyn Goh for CityWire, published on 11th April 2023. 

Read the full article below: 

Read the full story: Australian Ethical draws the line on fish, koalas, livestock - CityWire

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