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An Investor Presses His Case Against Industrial-Scale Farming

"It's about being a bad investment risk."
Chicken And Egg Production At Poultry Farm Operated By ZAO Agrosila Group
Andrey Rudakov/Bloomberg

Environmental and animal-rights groups have spent decades arguing against large-scale, intensive livestock facilities, arguing that these so-called factory farms are bad for the environment, farm animals, and human health. A private equity investor is taking a different approach to the same fight.

Jeremy Coller, who founded London's Coller Capital, is warning investors that ignoring animal welfare and other risks associated with industrial livestock farms can be bad for their bottom line. He created the Farm Animal Investment Risk & Return Initiative to create a network of  like-minded investors who consider animal welfare and other factory farm issues in their decisions. Coller, a vegetarian, said the effort is "about materiality," not morality. "It's about being a bad investment risk."