Jesuits challenge Tesco over its role in UK obesity crisis

Tesco PLC is the first retailer to be challenged with a shareholder resolution on health grounds.

A coalition of institutional and retail investors, including Jesuits in Britain, have filed the first ever health-based shareholder resolution at a retail company, calling on the UK’s largest food retailer to disclose targets for increasing the proportion of healthy products in its sales.

Brother Stephen Power SJ, who manages Jesuits in Britain's ethical investment strategy, said: 

“Good health, especially of children, is essential for human flourishing, yet a handful of companies are continuing to fuel a deadly obesity crisis. Too often, healthy alternatives are unaffordable or missing entirely. Tesco has made progress on its non-meat options - a welcome step to limit its climate impact - but needs to step up on the health front. This is why the Jesuits in Britain, as shareholders in the company, are calling on Tesco to show transparency and report on its efforts to encourage healthier eating.” 

With severely obese people three times more likely to be admitted to intensive care with Covid-19, the pandemic has highlighted the urgency of tackling mounting obesity levels to build a healthier and more resilient society.

Read the full press release here.

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[Photo by Simone Hutsch on Unsplash]