One-fifth of Kellanova shareholders vote for pesticide action

Although the Kellanova AGM vote was lost, As You Sow is celebrating ‘strong support’ for a proposal to disclose the risks from supply chain pesticide use.

The NGO claims that pesticides in agricultural supply chains have multiple cumulative environmental and social impacts that present a material risk to businesses.

Danielle Fugere, president and chief counsel at As You Sow, said, “Kellanova [previously the Kellogg Company] is quickly falling behind its peers in addressing pesticide risks. The company should view this strong support as an opportunity to adjust its practices and shift its mindset to long-term sustainability and agricultural productivity. Unfortunately, Kellanova seems to be going backward on pesticides.”

Shareholder advocacy – in which citizens buy shares to force environmental and social change – is becoming more common, particularly on climate, biodiversity and animal welfare-related topics.

In its split from Kellogg, Kellanova intentionally dropped its commitment to phase out glyphosate as a pre-harvest desiccant, a practice that can dramatically increase harmful pesticide residues in foods. Without a measurable pesticide reduction goal, Kellanova remains vulnerable to greenwashing claims while failing to promote long-term resiliency across its supply chain.

Cailin Dendas, senior environmental health coordinator at As You Sow, said, “Although Kellanova has identified ‘Sustainable Agriculture’ goals as part of its Better Days Promise, it doesn’t disclose pesticide use or, more importantly, doesn’t appear to take effective measures to reduce pesticide use. Other companies are taking steps to protect farm workers and neighbours, pollinators and wildlife.”

By contrast, As You Sow says that competitors are already taking action to reduce, assess and report pesticide risk:

  • General Mills has a comprehensive pesticide reduction plan focused on regenerative agriculture, integrated pest management, increasing organic acreage, and promoting pollinator health.
  • Lamb Weston reports pounds of active ingredient pesticides used per ton of crops harvested annually. It also audits growers’ pesticide use through a third party.
  • Conagra reports annually on pesticide use avoided through integrated pest management and monitoring practices – reporting 112,500 gallons of fumigant pesticides avoided since 2021.
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