|Plastered throughout Columbia Threadneedle’s website is its motto: “when it comes to investing, consistency is beautiful.” Unfortunately, there’s nothing beautiful about investing in a company that consistently neglects important animal welfare and food safety concerns. By investing in Darden, parent company of Olive Garden and other major chains, Columbia Threadneedle is backing irresponsible and outdated factory farming practices.
I have been working as an investment banker for 20+ years, and I feel that I know bad business when I see it. Thousands of Darden’s customers are demanding that it adopt meaningful animal welfare and food safety standards in its supply chain, but the company has completely ignored the request.
The investors at Columbia Threadneedle must take notice: Darden’s leadership is engaging in socially irresponsible behavior and consequently, bad business. Companies like Starbucks, Burger King, Aramark, and dozens of others have all committed to comprehensive and sweeping animal welfare policies — investments would be better pursued with these companies.
I urge the leadership at Columbia Threadneedle to reconsider their investments in Darden now. Public opposition to Darden is growing. I urge Columbia Threadneedle to take the side of corporate responsibility, improved animal welfare, and consumer transparency.