Impact investing, to get guilt-free burgers

​While there’s nothing unhealthy about eating moderate amounts of meat, the meat’s dirty secret is that it is not particularly great for our environment. So, we started investing in Kerry, specialized in plant-based food ingredients, explains Marek Troszczynski van Genderen.

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Getting cows to burp and fart less is a great start to limiting meat’s worrying carbon footprint but we can and should do more.

One of the companies working on a solution to this problem is Kerry Group, an Irish nutrition company. While Kerry derives its roots as a modest dairy farmers’ cooperative, over the past decade it has transformed itself into a global leader in nutrition science, where the traditional dairy and meat business now forms a minority of their overall activities. 

Put differently, with its expertise in culinary and nutrition science, Kerry helps large food producers (such as Unilever, Danone or Kraft) to produce better food. A good example would be foods that contain less sugar or salt but still retain their look, taste and texture. 

However, Kerry also does something about our problematic meat addiction and offers a wide range of products to provide this characteristic meat eating experience but with vegetables. 


Source: Kerry Group

In this way, you can still get this great hamburger or burrito eating experience but without the unpleasant side effect of the environmentally-driven guilty conscience. Getting plants to mimic meat’s characteristic taste, flavor and texture is not easy. Doing so without using too much salt and a long list of processed ingredients is even harder. 


 
Note: The correct answer is the middle column

This is where Kerry’s expertise in nutrition comes into play. As a company with the largest portfolio of food ingredients in the world and with leading capabilities in flavor, as well as salt reduction, Kerry is uniquely positioned to play in that space. In fact, Kerry Group has recently launched a portfolio called Radicle™ by Kerry, which will provide the broadest portfolio of plant-based food solutions in the market, creating new and exciting dishes for the growing consumer group that wants to eat burgers without the pangs of guilty conscience. 

PGGM is invested in Kerry Group in its impact investing portfolio that we manage for PFZW. Apart from helping us enjoy a climate-friendly grilled meat, Kerry has also been a strong financial performer with the share price rising by almost 30 percent in 2019 alone.

Weekend barbecue, anyone?



Senior Investment Manager

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