FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Gregory Olson
Maine Office of the State Treasurer
MAINE TREASURER CALLS ON DANONE TO SEE LONG TERM VALUE IN MAINE DAIRY FARMERS
State Financial Leader Leads Coalition of Public Investors in Questioning Corporate Giant’s Business Practices
Augusta, ME: In a letter released today, Maine Treasurer, Henry E.M. Beck called on Danone North America to reconsider its decision to discontinue dairy contracts with farmers in the Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, and New York markets. Joining Beck are state treasurers from Vermont and Delaware, with expectations for others to follow. These state financial leaders, many of whom are fiduciaries in public funds and public institutions, some with investment in Danone, are questioning the company’s decision and its impact on shareholder value.
“Maine dairy farmers are productive, efficient and reliable partners to Danone North America,” said Treasurer Beck. “Danone moving dairy production away from Maine, and other New England states is short-sighted – and presents supply chain risks as well as reputational risks among the large customer base in the Northeast, potentially jeopardizing public investments in the company,” he added.
“We would like to engage further with Danone, and ask that they reconsider their decision,” said Vermont State Treasurer Beth Pearce. “We think this makes sense for our dairy farmers, consumers and our investment portfolios.”
Treasurer Beck and other state treasurers have joined a growing movement of public investors advocating for companies to focus on long-term, sustainable growth.
The Office of the State Treasurer manages roughly $90M in over 70 trust funds, which benefit a range of state programs and agencies. Approximately $45,000 is invested in Danone SA. The holdings are in Vanguard mutual funds and exchange traded funds (ETFs).