In a time where investors are more clued in than ever, environmental, social and corporate governance has become increasingly important. Whilst most companies simply check an ESG box, others go beyond and actively contribute to solving global challenges.
Last month the Global Leaders Group on Antimicrobial Resistance, an interagency group comprising experts from all over the world, called for a significant reduction in the use of antimicrobial drugs in global food systems.
The widespread use of these drugs in agriculture and livestock is primarily to treat and prevent infection, however with calls for their reduction industry operators are being pushed to find alternatives.
The call to action comes ahead of the upcoming UN Food Systems Summit to be held later in September. The Summit is designed for countries to engage in productive discussions around transforming global food systems.
The Group urged all countries to prioritise reducing the use of antimicrobial drugs in food systems. According to their research, the world is heading to a “tipping point” where the heavily relied on antimicrobials will no longer be effective. With drug resistant diseases already the cause of at least 700,000 human deaths globally every year, inaction will have serious consequences for human, animal and environmental health.
Consumers, investors and operators in the animal health industry are all in a position to affect change.
Regional veterinary services operator Apiam Animal Health (ASX: AHX) is well aware of these issues and is leading the charge within their network on the responsible use of antimicrobials in livestock.
Agriculture is a significant industry in Australia, representing a gross value of $67 billion. 51% of that is derived from livestock farming.
More than just a network of veterinary clinics, Apiam has been increasingly focused on preventative animal health solutions such as autogenous vaccines and non-antibiotic antimicrobials like acidifiers and probiotics.
Through their wholly owned subsidiary company, ACE Laboratories, Apiam creates vaccines customised to fight against the actual microbes that animals will come in contact with in their environment. Leveraging this specificity means that farmers can reduce the use of broad spectrum antibiotics to maintain the health of their animals.
The Company also works closely with farmers to implement management practices that assist in improving the health of their herds. In order to reduce, refine and replace antimicrobial usage it is essential to keep track of data to determine areas of improvement. Apiam’s proprietary digital ‘Data Pig’ platform encourages responsible use of antimicrobials through regular monitoring and measuring their use as well as compliance with treatments and vaccine programs. The easy to use web portal and app provides farm owners, stockpersons and veterinarians with data and insights into individual and group swine health and production parameters. Amongst its many functions the platform provides valuable antimicrobial usage data.
By investing in the development of effective alternatives to antimicrobial use in food systems, Apiam is safeguarding the future of their client’s revenue streams. The pivot towards more of a preventative approach to animal health ensures the longevity of Apiam’s client relationships and opens up significant ongoing revenue opportunities that enhance socially acceptable livestock production.
As investors seek to invest in positive societal change, impactful investing opportunities are being dug deeper to unveil the long-term benefits that will solve sustainability problems. Tackling the antimicrobial issue that could soon threaten global food supplies, Apiam’s commitment to solving the global challenge has continued to draw investor attention, raising AHX shares more than 30% in 2021.
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*Owners of this website are AHX shareholders
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