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Zero Foodprint Asia Monthly  |  31 October 2021

Zero Foodprint Asia
October Newsletter

Dear Friends of Zero Foodprint Asia, 

Yet another month has passed us by and a busy one at that! We’ve been from one end of town to the other between a pop-up, conference, press event and of course our favourite - lending a hand on Mr. Ngai’s farm in Kam Tin. The two back-to-back typhoons this past month along with record heat waves all summer have really taken a toll on our farmers, delaying what usually would be Fall harvest by now, to mid or even late December. The privilege and continuous opportunities we have been given to help spread the word on our mission, vision, and progress in the Hong Kong community is an honour, but let's be honest, this work is also extremely tough, requires diplomatic and salesmanship skills (of the latter, which none of us have and therefore would make for terrible real estate agents). But still, we pick ourselves back up and get on with it despite how frustrating days can get simply because we're #madehospo. So here's a quick summary of the sorts of good trouble we've been up to!

 Our Month in a Nutshell 


Roganic’s Friends of Sustainability - Climate Action Luncheon

The month got kicked off with Roganic’s Friends of Sustainability Climate Action Luncheon pop up on October 3rd and it was such a hit, tickets sold out within 45 minutes! Besides sourcing local ingredients for the dishes, proceeds have also been pledged towards ZFPA Restore Funds to help farmers help us grow better food while solving the climate crisis. We thank this impeccable team - both front and back of the house at Roganic Hong Kong for your hospitality and professionalism and Chefs Ash (Roganic), Agus (Ando), Barry (Whey), and Peggy (Grassroots Initiatives) for sharing your time and creations.

Rethink Hong Kong


Three days later we entered the halls of Rethink, where Joel was invited to do a presentation and workshop to conduct the bread and flour demo with delegates. Thanks to the team at Foodpanda, Woody Chan and Jeremy Chung, for inviting us and allowing us space to share about soil, regenerative agriculture and how to become more eco-conscious dine-in/take away customers.

Chinese Press Launch


We've been making headway designing programs, building relationship with several community of farmers, establishing project frameworks with our advisors, taking restaurant partners to visit farms, compost sites and speaking to our industry peers on the importance of regenerative agriculture. But on October 20, we slowed down, got classy, and partnered up with our incredible co-hosts, The Mills Fabrica to introduce ZFPA to the local media where we hosted close to 60 Chinese press, farmer organisations and those in the property sector to set about changing the narrative within the local market. For a more detailed read on what went down, head over to our our blog.
 


If you want to make an impact globally,
one must first find ways to create impact locally.

We’ve frequented several farms with particular needs via our advisors this past month such as Mr. & Mrs. Ngai’s farm in Kam Tin, and Eva’s Regenerative Farm in Sheung Shui. Whether it be pest control through soil amendment, or monitoring the increase of Soil Organic Carbon (SOC) over time, every farmer has their own set of practices they depend upon.

Anywhere we can help with farm chores also allows us a moment to truly get to listen in and appreciate the exchanges. With these interactions we are then better able to learn how to house these farming projects; whether through Adopt a Farmer, for eduction tours, or if the farmer is ready, to begin their journey in transitioning towards regenerative ways.
 

 What’s going on in November 

01-14 November: ZFPA is part of the “In the Moo for Love'' campaign! On Monday 1st of Nov, the HK city-wide green campaign will begin with Joel conducting a presentation at HK Land’s Centricity about soil & regeneration and why food businesses should actively participate in the restoration of our planet’s natural resources, while Peggy will speak on a panel with other fellow chefs on topics related to food, soil, and the supply chain. 

Other places you can catch us speaking on food, soil health and systems change?
  • 10 November:  Chefs Manifesto Cop 26 Instagram Live
  • 18 November: Shared Value Project: Candid Cafe on Green & Just Recovery
  • 30 November:  BNP Paribas Panel: NextGen Experience on Conscious Consumption
  • 2 December:  Business of Design Week: Sustainable Hospitality: Making Sustainability Palatable

 Industry News 

HK Climate Action Plan 2050


HK’s recently published Climate Action Plan outlining its decarbonisation strategy to reach net-zero emissions by 2050, in line with the Paris agreement, is a welcomed first step towards acknowledging that the climate crisis is real. Though what it does leave out from its strategy is an entire sector that’s known to contribute one-third of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions worldwide - Food.

Famed for our incredible array of restaurants, imported talents and top-notch hospitality, WWF HK’s 2021 Ecological Footprint Report revealed that “Hong Kong’s ecological footprint [is] the third-worst, per person, in the Asia-Pacific region, and 14th-worst globally,” where 22% of total footprint is derived from food consumption and 8% from restaurants and hotel services, a first breakdown of its category. For the city to achieve legitimate carbon neutrality by 2050, we urge the government to set aside a food sector commission that ought to prioritize measuring, reducing, and mitigating our responsible emissions effectively, beginning right at the source.

Return next month where we will reveal ZFPA’s Carbon Neutrality Program’s pilot partners and how this program aims to close the gap for HK's climate action strategies.

COP26

On Sunday, October 31st, the UN’s Conference of the Parties, (COP26) has commenced in Glasgow. Despite it being the 26th conference (first one was in Berlin - March 1995), this one has been pegged as the world’s last best chance to mitigate catastrophic climate change

Some important documents got leaked last week that consisted of more than 32k submissions made by governments, companies and other interested parties to adjust the upcoming UN report. A number of countries and organisations argue that the world does not need to reduce the use of fossil fuels as quickly as the current draft of the report recommends. (Mmm Ok. Tell that to your kids then).

The four main themes of COP26 are:

  1. Get to Net Zero Emissions by 2050 and keep global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius
  2. Protect and Restore (regenerate)
  3. Mobilize money (less developed countries will need financial support from most developed countries in order to meet emission reduction targets)
  4. Work together
We’re looking forward to the conversations about regeneration, agriculture and food systems, and ZFPA will share these conversations, but as Emily Ehlers said so eloquently: “COP 26 was never going to be a silver bullet that “saves us”, therefore cannot be the straw that breaks our backs, either. This “All Hands On Deck“ moment and movement is so much bigger than COP26. No matter what, the tide will turn [whether] because of grassroots movements, local action, civil rebellion, constant pressure on our leaders, a re-knitting of community, indigenous sovereignty, and land management. Regeneration, rebellion & revolution. It’s a lot, but so are we.”

You can join the events virtually by
subscribing to the COP26 YouTube channel.

 

 Resources 

Fantastic Fungi

With the weather cooling down, get comfortable, and watch “Fantastic Fungi” on Netflix to discover the magical world of fungi. Spoiler alert: they help trees communicate!
 

Purchasing Guide - Kiss the Ground

"What are regenerative products?", you ask. "Is it fair trade? Is it MSC labelled? Is it Eco-Cert organic?" Well it's all of the above and more. Get started with this impressive Kiss the Ground Purchasing Guide that will give you the low-down on what is considered as 'regenerative' - whether it be vegetables, meat or everyday lifestyle products. Challenge your mindset and download the guide here

If you want good food, you ought to make good food happen.
Support your local farmers, help them farm better and let's solve climate change with good food.
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