Nourish a healthy portfolio


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 Desjardins Sustainable 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: Novozymes1

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 Sustainable Positive Change Fund

Reducing its environmental impact

Company: Corbion1

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 Sustainable Cleantech Fund

Improving food quality for better human and animal health

Company: Chr. Hansen1

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 Sustainable Positive Change Fund

Desjardins Sustainable Diversity Fund

Avoiding food waste and loss

Company: Jerónimo Martins1

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 23,230 tons of vegetables from being sent for disposal4.

This company is part of:

Desjardins Sustainable Global Opportunities Fund

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.

  1. This company is in the fund’s portfolio as at December 31, 2022.
  2. Ritchie, Hannah. "Food production is responsible for one-quarter of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions." - External link. This link will opens in a new window. Our World in Data. November 6, 2019. [cited March 15, 2021].
  3. Heller, Martin C., an Gregory A. Keoleian. Beyond Meat's Beyond Burger Life Cycle Assessment: A detailed comparison between a plant-based and an animal-based protein source. - External link. This link will opens in a new window. Center for Sustainable Systems: University of Michigan. (September 14, 2018): 7. [cited March 15, 2021].
  4. Jerónimo Martins. "Waste Management." - External link. This link will opens in a new window. Tackling Waste. 2021. [cited June 11, 2021].

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