The National Pork Producers Council, together with six other agricultural organizations, submitted supplemental comments to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) laying out a clear case for why agriculture, and the food supply chain, should be exempt from reporting under the SEC’s proposed climate change disclosure rules.
The letter, which follows a series of meetings between agricultural representatives and the SEC as well as repeated concerns raised by members of Congress, supplements earlier comments the coalition submitted in June 2022. It highlights several problems with the proposed disclosure rule, and how it will inadvertently be used to create obligations for farmers to report emissions. The letter provided the SEC additional legal analysis highlighting why the Commission cannot conclude a final disclosure rule that subjects farmers to reporting, and it lays out a path for the SEC to utilize in order to exempt agriculture entirely from any obligation to report under the proposed rule.
The national agricultural associations are urging the SEC to either remove the Scope 3 emissions disclosure requirement, or substantially revise the Scope 3 requirement to include an explicit exemption for agricultural production.
According to NPPC, this required reporting, tracking and disclosure rules will be expensive, invasive and nearly impossible for farmers and producers to comply with. Additionally, the SEC lacks any authority to impose these burdens on agriculture.
Family farms will be hit the hardest, with the rule driving greater consolidation and resulting in fewer farmsteads. While farmers and producers play a vital role in America’s supply chain, 98% of farms are family owned, which means a considerable part of the agricultural, including the pork industry, does not fall under the SEC’s jurisdiction.