Alternative Products in Food & BeverageTransitioned to the ISSB
Food & Beverage
Business Model & Innovation
Effective on August 1, 2022, the Value Reporting Foundation consolidated into the IFRS Foundation. At that time, stewardship of the SASB Standards—including all active projects—passed from the SASB Standards Board to the International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB). The ISSB has committed to building on the SASB Standards and progressing ongoing SASB projects. Any future updates to the SASB Standards resulting from this project will be subject to ISSB due process prior to being finalized.
The information below is intended to provide interested parties with historical information regarding the status of this project at the time of the consolidation.
Based on the research conducted during the Alternative Meat & Dairy research project, the Board approved a separate standard-setting project in the Food Retailers & Distributors and Meat, Poultry & Dairy industries. Evidence from the research project indicates consumers are changing their diets and consumption habits to more environmentally friendly products. As such, protein producers and food retailers are adjusting business models in response to this changing consumer demand. The Food Retailers & Distributors Standard and the Meat, Poultry & Dairy Standard do not include a disclosure topic on how a company manages its product portfolio to address customer demand for more sustainable products. This project has an associated research project.
On June 2, 2022, the SASB Standards Board released recommended changes to the Meat, Poultry & Dairy Standard, the Processed Foods Standard, and the Food Retailers & Distributors Standard in connection with this project. These recommended changes, which can be accessed below under “Published Documents,” represent changes to the Standards that the SASB Standards Board would have pursued through the publication of exposure drafts, including an invitation to comment, if there were sufficient time to advance the project through the next phases of due process as outlined in the SASB Rules of Procedure.
The SASB Standards Board published these recommended changes for the ISSB’s consideration and for market participants interested in following continued efforts to improve and maintain the SASB Standards.
Transitioned to the ISSB
Published Documents & Supplemental Materials
Board Materials & Decisions
Board Meeting Outcomes
- The board discussed the recommended changes to the Meat, Poultry & Dairy, Processed Foods, and Food Retailers & Distributors Standards, including the addition of a new disclosure topic and three corresponding metrics intended to capture risks and opportunities related to alternative protein products.
- The Board discussed two issues where further market input might improve the recommended changes:
- Whether the addition of a plant-based protein category to the revenue metrics in all three industries would be decision-useful.
- Whether it is feasible for companies to disclose the amount spent on protein diversification within the Meat, Poultry & Diary and Processed Foods industries.
- The recommended changes are being recommended to the ISSB for further deliberation and will be subject to the ISSB’s due process.
- Staff presented key research and consultation findings from the Alternative Meat & Dairy research project, which included a staff recommendation to initiate a standard-setting project.
- The Board unanimously agreed to initiate the standard-setting project recommended by staff: Alternative Products in Food & Beverage. The project scope includes the consideration of new or revised disclosure topics and metrics to address alternative products in the Meat, Poultry & Dairy industry and the Food Retailers & Distributors industry.
- The Board agreed to exclude the Restaurants and Non-Alcoholic Beverages industries from the scope of the standard-setting project. The Board discussed considerations and trade-offs related to whether the Processed Foods industry should be within the scope of the standard-setting project. The discussion centered on challenges related to the prevalence of alternative products in the industry and the feasibility of developing improvements to the existing Standard. The Board ultimately agreed to exclude the Processed Foods industry from the scope of standard setting, but encouraged a resolution to the ongoing research project in a timely manner, given that the sole outstanding question pertains to whether standard setting should be pursued in the Processed Foods industry.
For a full list of past and upcoming Standards Board meetings, as well as associated materials, please visit our Board Meetings Calendar & Archive.
The staff has prepared this summary for informational purposes only. Any Standards Board decisions are tentative and do not change current accounting. Official positions of SASB are determined only after extensive due process and deliberations.