Fresh from McDonald’s bunfight, Robeco grills companies on climate

When McDonald’s revealed in August it would start curbing the use of medically crucial antibiotics in its global chicken supply chain – including in Australia – one major investor was keen to point to the timing of the news. The move by the global fast food giant – which said it would also plan to phase out the use of antibiotics in other meats – came just a few months after its May annual meeting in the US, at which a shareholder proposal calling on the company to ban the use of such antibiotics in its supply chains garnered almost 30 per cent of the vote. McDonald’s opposed the shareholder motion, arguing it was “unnecessary and redundant” given the steps it was already taking. But one of the authors and co-filers of the shareholder proposal, the 89-year-old Dutch asset manager Robeco, maintains that the high level of support for the vote pushed the company to act.


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