Being a shareholder of a major company can come with perks. I once got a free pen for attending Smithfield Foods’ annual meeting. I got a coupon (which I used for a veggie burger) at another shareholder meeting.
OK, so those types of perks aren’t anything to write home about. The real “perk” for us—which is the reason that we purchase stock in animal-abusing companies in the first place—is the chance to have a voice in the inner workings of a company like Hormel Foods, the meatpacking giant based out of Austin, Minnesota.
This week, we cashed in on that perk, so to speak, by submitting a shareholder resolution calling on the company to include information on its packaging disclosing every piece of meat’s greenhouse-gas “footprint” on the world. Doing more damage than all the automobiles and airplanes in the world combined, it’s the meat industry that contributes most to global warming. And we’re not the only ones who think it’s smart to clue consumers in: Some food companies are already printing per-serving greenhouse-gas emissions levels on product labels.
Now, as a result of our resolution, all Hormel investors—from Joe Schmoe, who might own a dozen shares, up to the largest major banking firm, which might own five to 10 percent of the company—will be able to read about all the ways that producing meat contributes to global warming, and more importantly, they’ll have a chance to vote on whether they feel that Hormel should own up to its devastating eco-footprint.
You can read the full text of the resolution here.
Written by Matt Prescott, assistant director of Corporate Affairs