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NEWS from the Office of the New York State Comptroller
Contact: Press Office 518-474-4015

DiNapoli: Fast Food Companies Agree to Stronger Supplier Oversight

May 13, 2016

New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli today announced that Fortune 500 fast food companies Wendy’s and YUM! Brands, the parent company of Kentucky Fried Chicken, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell, have agreed to conduct assessments of human rights risks related to labor standards in their operations and supply chains. The companies also agreed to publish these risk assessments on their websites later this year.

As a result of the agreements, DiNapoli has withdrawn his shareholder proposals that asked the companies to hold their suppliers more accountable through a series of assessments and protective practices that address human rights issues.

“A sustainable business model ensures human rights are upheld throughout a supply chain,” DiNapoli said. “These companies understand that by ensuring safe conditions are maintained throughout their own operations as well as their suppliers, they can help avoid potential harm to stockholder value. Increased daylight and accountability surrounding workers’ rights will result in stronger companies and help safeguard the Common Retirement Fund’s investments.”

YUM! Brands is one of the world’s largest restaurant companies with nearly 43,000 restaurants in more than 130 countries and territories.

Wendy’s is the third largest quick-service hamburger chain in the world, with more than 6,500 restaurants around the globe.

The Fund currently owns 1,315,911 shares of YUM! Brands valued at approximately $104.7 million and 475,900 shares of Wendy’s valued at approximately $5.2 million.


DiNapoli, as trustee of the New York State Common Retirement Fund, has engaged portfolio companies for several years in an ongoing effort to increase transparency and accountability in their supply chains including:
In 2010, the Common Retirement Fund, in concert with other signatories of the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment, wrote letters to selected companies asking them to call on their overseas suppliers to implement the core labor rights standards of the UN’s International Labor Organization (ILO) and to allow independent monitoring of their compliance.

2014 - Dollar Tree, Dillard’s and Guess? Inc. agreed to increase transparency and accountability in their supply chains.

2013 - Best Buy and Bed Bath & Beyond agreed to encourage their suppliers to report on workplace safety, human and worker rights and environmental compliance.

About the New York State Common Retirement Fund

The New York State Common Retirement Fund is the third largest public pension fund in the United States, with estimated assets of $178.3 billion as of Dec. 31, 2015. The Fund holds and invests the assets of the New York State and Local Retirement System on behalf of more than one million state and local government employees and retirees and their beneficiaries. The Fund has consistently been ranked as one of the best managed and best funded plans in the nation. The Fund’s fiscal year ends March 31, 2017.