March 8, 2024

AFBF Applauds SEC for determination

Topic: Issues

On March 6, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) responded to American Farm Bureau Federation’s (AFBF) concerns and affirmed that regulations intended for Wall Street should not extend to America’s family farms. The SEC voted today on its final climate disclosure rule and removed the Scope 3 reporting requirement, which would have required public companies to report the greenhouse gas emissions of their supply chain.

Since the rule was first proposed two years ago, AFBF led the charge for the removal of Scope 3. Farm Bureau members sent almost 20,000 messages to the SEC and Capitol Hill, sharing their perspectives of how Scope 3 reporting would affect their farms.

“AFBF thanks SEC Chair Gary Gensler and his staff for their diligence in researching the unintended consequences of an overreaching Scope 3 requirement,” said AFBF President Zippy Duvall. “Farmers are committed to protecting the natural resources they’ve been entrusted with, and they continue to advance climate-smart agriculture, but they cannot afford to hire compliance officers just to handle SEC reporting requirements. This is especially true for small farms that would have likely been squeezed out of the supply chain.

“Over the past two years, our members have made their voices heard on this issue and several lawmakers and leaders really stepped up. We thank all those who stood with farmers, including Senators Jon Tester, Tammy Baldwin and Kyrsten Sinema, as well as Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, all of whom listened to the concerns of America’s farm families and recognized the impact Scope 3 would have had on rural America.”

Farm Bureau recognizes the value of data collection and has actively contributed to responsible approaches to such efforts, including as a founding member of the Ecosystem Services Market Consortium and a leader in Field to Market. Both organizations work to empower farmers when it comes to on-farm data collection. The proposed Scope 3 requirement, however, would have imposed additional burdens on farmers, who provide almost every raw product that goes into the food supply chain. The onerous reporting requirements could have disqualified small, family-owned farms from doing business with public companies, putting those farms at risk of going out of business.

Now that the SEC has thoughtfully evaluated the issue, AFBF urges California to follow the SEC’s lead by withdrawing its Scope 3 reporting requirement for any company doing business in the state. Farm Bureau, along with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and others, recently challenged that state law and its national ramifications.