Jesuits join investor coalition to question food box school meal provision
The Jesuits in Britain have joined a coalition of asset owners, asset managers and other finance industry stakeholders to express concern over reports that food boxes provided by the catering company, Chartwells, to the most disadvantaged families in the UK, are falling short of expectations.
Chartwells is a subsidiary of the British multinational contract foodservice company, Compass Group, and in a joint open letter to Compass CEO, Dominic Blakemore, the coalition have called for reassurance as to how future food parcels will meet the needs of the most disadvantaged families in the UK.
Signatories include: Legal and General Investment Management, EOS at Federated Hermes, BMO GAM, M&G PLC, Rathbone Brothers PLC, The Church Investors Group, Church Commissioners for England, PIRC, Central Finance Board of the Methodist Church & Epworth Investment Management, The Jesuits in Britain, Lankelly Chase, Trust for London, Friends Provident Foundation and ShareAction.
The coalition has been mobilised by CCLA - the UK’s largest investment manager for charities and local authorities. James Corah, Head of Ethical and Responsible Investment at CCLA Investment Management, said: “As responsible investors, we are concerned by the disproportionate impact the disruption posed by COVID-19 has had on the poorest members of our society. All children have the right to access nutritious diets to support healthy development, and we are particularly alarmed about the increase in child hunger during this period. As a company that says it is committed to good nutrition and responsible business practices, Compass Group risks falling foul of its own guiding principles.
"We acknowledge Compass Group’s public apology and public clarifications on this matter. However, given the potential ramifications, the company must be completely transparent, make adjustments and improvements as required and move quickly to restore faith in its business.”
James Bevan, Chief Investment Officer at CCLA Investment Management, concluded: “At times it is necessary to seek answers, not only as investors in the company, but also as members of society. The Coronavirus pandemic has been challenging for everyone and particularly for lower-income families. It is incumbent on us all to do our part. As responsible investors, we will call upon companies to demonstrate commitment to sustainable business practices that meet the needs of all stakeholders.”
Brother Stephen Power SJ, Manager of the Jesuits in Britain’s ethical investment strategy, said: "The disruption caused by COVID-19 has been felt the hardest by the most vulnerable members of society. Child hunger has increased during this period."
You can read the letter here.
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