Top Stories

April 27, 2022


Investors push Nestlé and Kraft Heinz to set new health targets

Investors managing $3 trillion in assets are pushing food multinationals Nestlé, Danone, Kraft Heinz and Kellogg to deliver new disclosure targets on health and nutrition. Investors Legal & General Investment Management and BMO Global Asset Management have written to the boards of the companies in a demonstration of shareholder concern around nutrition and obesity. Investors have outlined a divergence in the companies’ own product assessments with findings from external metrics by the Access to Nutrition Initiative (ATNI). While Nestlé said 80.5% of its mainstream food and drink sales met its own health criteria, ATNI scores put scoped sales at 43%. Similarly, Danone said 90% of its sales were from healthy products, but the ATNI puts the figure at 65%. ATNI said only 27% of Kellogg sales were from healthy products. (Financial Times)*


Elon Musk Twitter takeover sparks fears around misinformation

Elon Musk has been warned by government authorities that he must protect Twitter users from harmful content following his $44 billion deal to purchase the social media platform. The billionaire has vowed to relax content restrictions, sparking fears from human rights groups it could lead to a rise in bullying and misinformation. Musk has been vocal in his criticism of Twitter's policies on moderating content, arguing that it needs to be a genuine forum for free speech. However, critics including human rights group Amnesty International have displayed concern that Twitter may now erode policies designed to protect users. The takeover comes as the European Union looks to enforce its new online rules in the coming months, in a bid to promote greater transparency around why content is recommended to users. (BBC News)


Europe faces critical shortage of metals needed for clean energy

A study has found that Europe is facing a critical shortage of clean-energy metals and may fail to meet its climate targets without proactive action to bridge the supply gap. Commissioned by metals industry association Eurometaux, the study investigates metal supplies needed for batteries, solar panels and wind turbines. It finds that Europe will require 35 times more lithium and 7 to 26 times the amount of rare earth metals in 2050 compared with today to meet climate targets. Energy prices have also exacerbated supply, with 35-45% of Europe’s aluminium, zinc and silicon capacity temporarily offline. The study recommends co-investment or financing of new mining projects globally to guarantee long-term supply agreements. It also recommends investment in recycling infrastructure, which could meet up to 75% of Europe’s clean energy metal requirements. (Financial Times)*


Food, fuel price shocks from Ukraine war to last at least 3 years

Global food and fuel price shocks linked to the Russia-Ukraine war are set to last until at least the end of 2024 and raise the risk of stagflation, according to a report by the World Bank. In its first comprehensive analysis of the war’s impact on commodity markets, the bank said the world faces the biggest commodity price shock since the 1970s. Restrictions on food, fuel and fertiliser trade are also exacerbating already elevated inflationary pressures globally. Russia is the world’s largest natural gas and fertiliser exporter and, with Ukraine, it accounts for nearly a third of global wheat exports, 19% of corn exports and 80% of sunflower oil exports. The World Bank’s report forecasts energy prices to rise more than 50% in 2022 before easing in 2023 and 2024. (Reuters)


Indonesia’s indefinite palm oil export ban met with mixed response

Indonesia, the world’s biggest producer of crude palm oil, has ordered an indefinite ban on the export of the commodity starting 28th April 2022 to address an ongoing shortage of cooking oil in the country. Indonesia produces 59% of the global supply of palm oil, which is the dominant vegetable oil used to make cooking oil in the country. Since late 2021, Indonesia has suffered from acute shortages of cooking oil with prices inflating. Palm oil producers have been accused of selling greater amounts overseas, where prices are higher, neglecting the domestic market. The President has called for a systemic shift in the country’s palm oil industry. However, critics have argued the country could lose up to $2.2 billion in export revenue even if the ban lasts just one month. (Eco-Business)

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