The number of patents linked to the concept of environmental, social and governance (ESG) filed and granted by food manufacturers has declined, according to fresh analysis.

The most recent figures show the number of ESG patent applications in the industry stood at 25 in the three months ending November – down from 43 over the same period last year.

Figures for the number of patents granted followed a similar pattern to applications – shrinking from 31 in the three months ending November last year to 20 this year.

The figures are compiled by GlobalData, which tracks patent filings and grants from official offices around the world. Using textual analysis, as well as official patent classifications, these patents are grouped into key thematic areas and linked to key companies across various industries. ESG is one of the key areas tracked by GlobalData. It has been identified as being a key disruptive force facing companies in the coming years.

The figures also provide an insight into which companies are active in this area.

US agri-food behemoth Cargill and Unilever both filed six ESG-related patents in the three months ending November. Japan-based conglomerate Mitsubishi Corp. and Taiwan noodle maker Uni-President Enterprises Corp. posted three each.

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