Berkshire Hathaway 2017 Annual Meeting Audience Question # 34

Not much detail on CTB

Warren Buffett:

Station 11.

Audience Member:

Thank you, Mr. Buffett and Mr. Munger. I am Anil Daron from Short Hills, New Jersey and New Delhi, India.

This is my 18th time to this wonderful event, and profoundly thank you for your extraordinary wisdom, generosity, and time.

As I’m involved with sustainable investments that also do not directly harm animals, I would appreciate your perspective, if any, on the practices of your CTB subsidiary, which is somewhat involved in pig, poultry, and egg production.

Somewhat indirectly related, as you share your concern on nuclear war extensively at the last annual meeting, I would love to pick your brain on Albert Schweitzer’s Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech, shortly after the first nuclear bombs were detonated, that compassion can attain its full breadth and depth if it is not limited to humans only. Thank you.

Warren Buffett:

Well, that’s a pretty broad question. I would say on your first point, we have a subsidiary, CTB, run by Vic Mancinelli. And I sit down with him once a year. And he’s a terrific manager. He’s one of our very best. You don’t hear much about him.

And they do make the equipment for poultry growers. And I would… I can’t answer your question specifically, but I would be glad to have you get in contact with Vic directly because I know that what… question you raised is a… it’s a major factor in what they do.

I mean, they do care about how the equipment is used, in terms of poultry and egg production.

And, as you know, a number of the largest purchasers and the largest producers are also in the same camp. But I can’t tell you enough about it directly that I can give you a specific answer.

But I can certainly put you in touch with Vic. And I think you would find him extremely well- informed and doing some very good things in the area that you’re talking about.

In terms of the nuclear weapon question, I’m very pessimistic on weapons of mass destruction, generally. Although, I don’t think that nuclear, probably, is quite as likely as either biological… primarily, biological… and maybe cyber. I don’t know that much about cyber.

But I do think that’s the number one problem with mankind. But I don’t think I can say anything particularly constructive on it now.


Charlie Munger:

Well, I don’t think we mind killing chickens.

And I do think we’re against nuclear war, so…

Warren Buffett:


We are not actually a poultry producer, but we do… they use our equipment. And that equipment has been changed substantially in the last 10 or 15 years.

But, again, I’m not that good on the specifics that I can give them to you. But I can certainly you put you in touch with Vic.

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