The news that the Brazilian Ministry of Labour threatens to blacklist beer brewer Heineken once again shows the usefulness of engagement. This is what Thijs Knaap, chief economist at APG, says on BNR Nieuwsradio.
The reason behind the threat is that Heineken and the Brazilian brewer AmBev are working with a transport company that treated its employees badly. "If people are wondering where ESG (policy on Environmental, Social and Governance issues, ed.) is good for, I can now illustrate it with this case," Knaap said in the program. "As an investor, you have to make sure that not only the companies you invest in behave well, but also their suppliers, in order to prevent companies from ending up in these kinds of situations." He therefore believes that Heineken could be held accountable for the abuses at a locally hired company. Otherwise, it will lead to the incentive for large companies to outsource certain activities to smaller companies for which they do not have to bear responsibility. "That's not a good system."
The weekly Investor Panel on BNR also discussed the current oil price, among other things. It rose 8 percent after the Opec+ oil cartel announced on Monday it would produce one million barrels less oil per day. Knaap: "The volatility is very high, because not so long ago there was still a negative price for American barrels of oil. That 8 percent increase sounds impressive, but it has to be seen in relation to the price that has been falling for some time, and now corresponds reasonably to the average oil price of recent months. There is therefore no reason to run to the gas station with a jerry can."