Investors should consider backing themes linked to the global food sector within their sustainable investment options this year, according to Morningstar.
The data provider’s specialist subsidiary Sustainalytics highlighted 10 investment themes related to the global food industry in a recent report: ‘2021: Investment in the Circular Food Economy’.
As well as boosting portfolios’ environmental and social investment credentials, the report highlighted that the themes would “positively contribute” to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The Sustainalytics’ annual outlook report names biological pesticides, precision farming, natural food preservatives, organic feed, certified sustainable products, the use of fish waste, integrated multi-trophic aquaculture, the use of recycled plastics, reducing food waste, and recovering waste as the top themes for this year.
It states that the biological pesticides market could reach $7.1 billion in 2025, up from $2.8 billion in 2018, adding that pesticides based on micro-organisms or natural products can replace those that result in impacts such as toxic emissions, effluents and waste incidents.
The report cites Novozymes as an example of a company that has recently expanded its activities into microorganisms that can replace or complement traditional fertilizers and pesticide products.
On reducing food waste, the report said that as much as 40% of waste happens before it reaches markets, driven by “improper use of commodity inputs” and a lack of sufficient storage.
High street coffee chain Starbucks has already stated its intention to reduce the waste it sends to landfills from stores and manufacturing sites by 50% before 2030, Sustainalytics reported.
The SDGs were established in 2015 by the United Nations. Among the 17 goals to improve life on Earth are those of zero hunger (SDG 2) and responsible consumption and production (SDG 12).
According to data provider TrackInsight, there are more than 200 exchange-traded funds available targeting specific SDGs. However, there is only one aimed at SDG 2 and two aimed as SDG 12.