Nourish a healthy portfolio

Fall 2020

Food is a major challenge as we strive to build a more sustainable world. Currently, the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization estimates that over 800 million individuals, or 1 in 9 people, are undernourished, while about 650 million people, or 1 in 8 adults, are considered obese. These statistics reveal important issues with public health and access to healthy, high-quality food.

Food also raises some environmental challenges. Agriculture accounts for nearly 25% of greenhouse gas emissions and 70% of freshwater consumption. The population growth, urbanization and increased meat consumption that generally follow an improvement in the standard of living are putting additional pressure on the world's food system.

Businesses can help resolve agricultural issues by:

  1. Improving the efficiency of agricultural and food production
  2. Reducing their environmental impact
  3. Improving food quality for better human and animal health
  4. Avoiding food waste and loss

Businesses that are part of the solution

Our SocieTerra responsible investment funds include many companies that offer products and services related to sustainable agriculture. Here are a few examples.

Improving the efficiency of agricultural and food production

Company: Novozymes

Novozymes is a world leader in biological solutions, creating animal nutrition solutions that are alternatives to antibiotics and microbial solutions that can reduce or even replace fertilizers and pesticides.

Thanks to these industrial enzymes, many industries are reducing their waste, energy needs and use of chemicals.

This company is part of:

Desjardins SocieTerra Positive Change Fund


Reducing its environmental impact

Company: Beyond Meat

Meat production accounts for 47% of the carbon footprint of global agriculture1.

Beyond Meat developed a plant-based patty that generates 90% less greenhouse gas emissions and requires 46% less energy, 99% less water and 93% less land compared to a quarter pound of American beef2.

This company is part of:

Desjardins SocieTerra Positive Change Fund


Reducing its environmental impact

Company: Corbion

Corbion's business model is fully compatible with a circular economy.

The company specializes in lactic acid and uses this material to make bioplastic that can be used in food packaging. This means that fossil fuels can be replaced by a renewable material that can potentially be reused, recycled or composted after use.

This company is part of:

Desjardins SocieTerra Cleantech Fund


Improving food quality for better human and animal health

Company: Chr. Hansen

Chr. Hansen is an international bioscience company that develops natural solutions for the food, nutritional, pharmaceutical and agricultural industries. Its products are based on 30,000 microbial strains that boost the nutritional value of foods and their health benefits.

This company is part of:

Desjardins SocieTerra Positive Change Fund

Desjardins SocieTerra Diversity Fund


Avoiding food waste and loss

Company: Jerónimo Martins

Jerónimo Martins is a European food distribution company with more than 4,400 outlets in Portugal, Poland and Colombia.

The organization is committed to reducing food waste in stores by 50% by 2025 by finding outlets for "ugly" fruits and vegetables, which are usually abandoned in the fields. These products are either pre-cut, sold at a discount or used to prepare ready-to-eat meals. Lower-quality items are recovered for livestock feed. In 2019, the company prevented 22,650 tons of vegetables from being sent for disposal3.

This company is part of:

Desjardins SocieTerra Environment Fund


  1. 1. Source: https://ourworldindata.org/food-ghg-emissions
  2. 2. Source: http://css.umich.edu/publication/beyond-meats-beyond-burger-life-cycle-assessment-detailed-comparison-between-plant-based
  3. 3. Source: https://www.jeronimomartins.com/en/responsibility/respecting-the-environment/waste-management/

This information should not be construed as a recommendation to buy or sell the securities, products or services referred to or as the sole basis for an investment decision.

Desjardins Funds are not guaranteed, their value fluctuates frequently, and their past performance is not indicative of their future returns. Commissions, trailing commissions, management fees and expenses may be associated with mutual fund investments. Please read the prospectus before investing. Desjardins Funds are offered by registered dealers.