June 4, 2014
Activist investor Green Century Equity Funds is urging shareholders of Safeway Inc. to vote at the company’s upcoming annual meeting in favor of a proposal that would require the supermarket chain to identify products that contain genetically modified organisms (GMOs). As expected, based on other companies’ responses to similar proposals, Safeway has opposed the measure.
Green reaches out to shareholders
Green wrote a letter to Safeway’s shareholders, asking them to adopt the proposal. According to Green, several companies — including Whole Foods, Chipotle and Ben & Jerry’s — require products that contain GMOs to be labeled.
Although it cited other companies requiring GMO labeling in support of its argument, Green implied that Safeway would benefit from adopting similar policies earlier than other companies. Its letter stated “Safeway could enjoy a first mover advantage by going beyond current regulatory requirements to meet growing and still unmet consumer demand for GMO labeling.”
Green also claimed that “Consumer demand for GMO labeling information is unprecedented and growing,” but did not elaborate further on the extent of this demand.