VanEck has announced the launch of the VanEck Future of Food ETF (YUMY), an actively managed equity ETF that provides exposure to companies engaged in agri-food technology and innovation.
YUMY is the first VanEck ETF to incorporate bottom-up, fundamental company research and will be overseen by portfolio managers Shawn Reynolds and Ammar James.
“The growing global population and the concurrent threats from climate change are driving the need for more sustainable agri-food processes and technologies in order to provide for a future with more affordable, nutritious and safe food for all,” says Reynolds.
Reynolds also oversees VanEck’s Environmental Sustainability and Natural Resources Equity Strategies. “We are now in the early stages of a multi-decade agri-food system transformation. Growth opportunities in this space currently exist, but the market remains nascent. A number of private firms appear poised to enter the public markets and several established companies are pivoting their business models to embrace the future of food, so an active approach to stock selection will position YUMY and its investors to capitalise on emerging trends.”
To better understand and research the expansive global agriculture and food industry, VanEck has identified three proprietary pillars of the agri-food technology and innovation opportunity set:
Food Technology: alternative proteins, animal feed and nutrition, and sustainable aquaculture.
Precision Agriculture: vertical/indoor farming, robotics and automation, data collection and analysis, water and irrigation.
Agriculture Sustainability: seed genetics, sustainable and safe fertilizer and crop chemicals, and sustainable food preservation and packaging.
VanEck further noted the growing global population is driving the need for innovation as the population is expected to increase by 25 per cent from 7.8 billion today to nearly 10 billion by 2050. More people are expected to enter the middle class than any time in history, accelerating anticipated consumption of protein and animal-based foods, which are resource-intensive to produce. By some estimates it may take as much as 70 per cent more food production to feed this larger and wealthier population.
“These growing needs have to be met with innovation, but they will also have to take into account the demands from both governments and consumers for cleaner, healthier and more environmentally sustainable approaches to feeding the world,” says James, who also serves as an analyst specialising in agribusiness, timber, and paper and packaging research for the firm. “We’re thrilled to be bringing YUMY to the marketplace and look forward to continuing to share our insights and research with investors and advisors around this essential topic and key investment category.”
VanEck writes that it has a long history in agriculture and sustainability-focused investing and is a leader in providing investors with solutions focused on relevant themes such as green bonds and the low carbon energy ecosystem. As a signatory of the Principles of Responsible Investment (PRI), VanEck incorporates ESG factors and analysis into their investment processes, and YUMY joins a lineup of sustainability-focused equity solutions that also includes the recently launched VanEck Green Metals ETF (GMET) and VanEck Environmental Sustainability Fund (ENVIX).
YUMY is listed on the NYSE Arca and has a net expense ratio of 0.69 per cent.