The growth of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) poses a serious threat to global public health. It could cause 10 million deaths a year by 2050 costing cost the global economy $100 trillion – according to UK government estimates. The animal protein industry is at the heart of this growing crisis as significantly higher volumes of antibiotics are used in food animals than in human medicine. For example, 70% of all antibiotics in the US are used on farm animals.
Overuse of antibiotics is particularly prevalent in intensive farming systems to enable animals to survive in overcrowded, stressful and often unhygienic conditions. As antibiotic resistance continues to emerge, a failure to manage antibiotic usage poses a major risk to all the companies assessed by the Coller FAIRR Protein Producer Index.
- Only 28% of companies show evidence of a policy on antibiotics stewardship that prohibits routine use.
- Aquaculture companies received the highest average scores on this risk factor
- Companies with beef in their supply chains scored 13 out of 100 in this category. This raises concerns as the beef industry has a long record of using medically important antibiotics such as tylosin in feedlots.
*Companies with ‘multiple’ proteins derive significant revenues from more than one protein source.