KELLOGG COMPANY | Disclose Risks of Pesticide Use in Agricultural Supply Chains at KELLOGG COMPANY

Status
21.57% votes in favour
AGM date
Previous AGM date
Proposal number
7
Resolution details
Company ticker
K
Lead filer
Resolution ask
Report on or disclose
ESG theme
  • Social
ESG sub-theme
  • Public health
Type of vote
Shareholder proposal
Filer type
Shareholder
Company sector
Consumer Staples
Company HQ country
United States
Resolved clause
BE IT RESOLVED: Shareholders request that Kellanova issue a report, at reasonable expense and excluding proprietary information, on the risks to the Company associated with pesticide use in its supply chain.
Whereas clause
WHEREAS: Industrial agriculture’s reliance on synthetic pesticides threatens farm sustainability, biodiversity, climate resiliency, water quality, and farmworker and fenceline community health and safety.
Pesticides decrease long-term farm productivity due to the proliferation of pesticide-resistant weeds and insects, the loss of topsoil, and soil nutrient degradation.1 Pesticide-intensive farming practices, including monocropping, increase susceptibility to pests and weed outbreaks.2
Agricultural pesticide use also directly impacts pollinator health. One-third of our food is dependent on pollinators, which are declining at alarming rates in significant part due to agricultural pesticide use.3 Additionally, synthetic pesticides generate greenhouse gas emissions and decrease soil’s ability to sequester carbon.4
Farmland consistently treated with pesticides also loses its ability to store water, increasing the generation of toxic runoff.5 Pesticide runoff poisons fish and wildlife, contaminates food sources, destroys animal habitats, and adversely impacts human health.6
Farmworkers and fenceline communities are disproportionately affected by pesticide use.
Nearly 44% of farmworkers experience unintentional acute pesticide poisoning (UAPP)annually, causing approximately 11,000 deaths every year.7 Long-term exposure to pesticides on and around farms also causes serious human health effects from cancer to cognitive impairment.8
Although Kellanova has identified ‘Sustainable Agriculture’ goals as part of its BetterDays Promise, it does not address risks related to pesticide use. Kellanova does not disclose whether it: tracks pesticide use, has assessed the risks of pesticides used on its material crops, has implemented measures to reduce pesticide use, or intends to report successful reductions in use. This represents an important blind spot and significant risk to investors and our Company.
Other major food companies are taking action to reduce, assess, and report pesticide risk, including:
General Mills has put in place a comprehensive pesticide reduction plan focused on regenerative agriculture, integrated pest management (IPM), increasing organic acreage, and promoting pollinator health.9Lamb Weston reports pounds of active ingredient pesticides used per ton of crops harvested annually. It audits growers’ pesticide use through a third party.10Conagra reports annually on pesticide use avoided through IPM and monitoring practices–reporting 112,500 gallons of fumigant pesticides avoided since 2021.11In a competitive marketplace that increasingly demands safe food and reduced harm to stakeholders and the environment, understanding and assessing supplier pesticide use reduces risk for shareholders and our Company.
Supporting statement
SUPPORTING STATEMENT: At board discretion, shareholders recommend the report include:An assessment of the risks associated with pesticide use on farmworker and fence line community health, farm resilience, soil health, biodiversity, water quality, climate, and reputational and litigation risk; andAny strategies, beyond legal compliance, Kellanova has taken or plans to take to mitigate those risks.1 https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/weeds-are-winning-the-war-against-herbicide-resistance1/ ; https://e360.yale.edu/features/how-the-loss-of-soil-is-sacrificing-americas-natural-heritage ; https://www.panna.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/02/202308ClimateChangeEng.pdf
2 https://ehp.niehs.nih.gov/doi/pdf/10.1289/ehp.02110445
3 https://newsarchive.berkeley.edu/news/media/releases/2006/10/25_pollinator.shtml ; https://www.nationalgeographic.com/environment/article/insect-apocalypse-under-way-toxic-pesticides-agriculture
4 https://phys.org/news/2023-02-pesticide-pollution-harvesting-intensity-crop.html
5 https://pesticidestewardship.org/water/runoff/
6 https://www.epa.gov/sites/default/files/2015-09/documents/ag_runoff_fact_sheet.pdf
7 https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33287770/
8 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9231402/
9 https://www.generalmills.com/how-we-make-it/healthier-planet/environmental-impact/pesticides
10 https://esg.lambweston.com/lambweston-2022-esg.pdf
11 https://www.conagrabrands.com/citizenship-reports/conagra-brands-citizenship-report-2022

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