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Zero Foodprint Asia Monthly  |  31 May 2022

Zero Foodprint Asia
May Newsletter

Hello Friends,

The first ZFPA Restore Fund selection process has finally come and gone. Admittedly, it was an uphill learning experience across the board and one we're so humbled to have led. We were heartened by the sheer number of applications we received, from farmers young and old to farm projects that varied in size and location. Ultimately, what became clear to us was that all applicant farmers expressed a genuine desire to apply ecological farming practices on their farmland.

ZFPA advisory members assessed applications based on the following criteria:

  1. the degree of soil improvement

  2. the opportunity for enhancing both below ground and above ground microbiology and biodiversity

  3. the readiness for implementation

  4. the scale and possibility of increasing soil carbon sequestration potential

This year, we have selected 7 farms as the grantees to the ZFPA Restore Fund, totaling approximately HKD750,000, which is expected to create change on 26 acres of farmland. In the following weeks, as our technical advisors proceed to draw up each of the project plans with the awarded farms, we'll be looking forward to sharing more about the farmers and their project details with you!

Regenerative farming methods are not novel in any way and much of it is usually handed down from indigenous knowledge. However, farmers have lost touch with agroecological practices due to the pressure that industrialized food systems put on them. We have witnessed ourselves that older generation farmers are just beginning to (re)discover this way of farming. So just as the energy grid can be reinvented through a collection of individual subsidies and changes in government policies, food businesses can help subsidize this transition so to make regenerative and renewable food systems possible.

Several dollars per meal can add up to big investments to protect soil, restore underground ecosystems, increase nutrients in food, and draw down excess carbon from the atmosphere.

Our Month in a Nutshell

We can’t do this on our own and hence we greatly value academic research and partnerships at ZFPA to help our hospo compadres on their carbon reduction journey.

To halve emissions by 2030 as well as to meet net-zero targets by 2050, leading creative partnerships across NGOs, academia, the private sector, and government, is how we will scale knowledge that would allow everyone a seat at the table.

After months of project scoping and understanding where our best complementarities are, we're excited to announce both
Green Hospitality, and Polytechnic University- SHTM as part of our working groups!
Research at the CFAES Rattan Lal Center for Carbon Management and Sequestration has reinforced beliefs that you can restore degraded soils by returning nutrients, carbon and organic matter to the soil. This can be done through regenerative agricultural practices such as no-tillage, cover crops, mulching and agroforestry. - OSU.EDU

New Partner Alert!

Hyatt Centric

Well, guess what? ZFPA just got a whole other level of F-A-N-C-Y. This month, we welcome our first-ever hotel establishment to join the Zero Foodprint global family! When you dine or drink at Hyatt Centric outlets - The Farmhouse, The Farmhouse Deli or Cruise Restaurant and Bar, 1% will be pledged to the ZFPA Restore Fund to help farmers shift to better farming practices. Patrick Sin, GM of Hyatt Centric noted, “Now, every meal at our hotel is an opportunity to support climate-conscious farming, and we would like to thank our diners for supporting our 1% pledge. Through this collective action with our restaurant diners and ZFPA, we aim to make small contributions that can add up to create a dramatic change for our environment”.


ZFPA Supporters

Roganic - Friends of Sustainability

Round Two of
Roganic's 'Friends of Sustainability' series held on Sunday 29th May saw Chef Manav from Chaat, Antimo from Estro, Jayson from Man Ho, joining Chef Ash and his team for this 8 hands lunch of epic deliciousness. In true Simon Rogan fashion, the menu featured local ingredients sourced within 160km radius of HK. We are grateful for Roganic team's continuous support and for pledging all proceeds (after cost deductions) from this lunch to the Restore Fund.

Tong Chong Street Market

And in other supporting partner news, when you head to
Tong Chong Street Market from June 6th onwards, 1% will be pledged from selected vendors at the #BiteToChange themed market organized by Taikoo Place, Swire Properties. For those who work in the area, get down during the day between 8am-3pm and let Fineprint, Mak Mak, Uen Cafeteria & Bad Ass Coffee help you make every one of your purchase generate climate impact!

 Industry News 

Carbon accounting goes mainstream

Carbon accounting is a way of measuring how much greenhouse gas an organization emits.  It quantifies the impact of an organization’s business activities – though instead of financial impact, it measures climate impact.

For the food system in particular which accounts for up to 37% of total GHG emissions globally, our industry right now truly doesn’t do a great job of disclosing the majority of its emissions. Tools such as
Foodsteps are critical for the hospitality industry to easily allow for foodservice businesses to measure, understand and report their impact.

It's evident that tools like these are catching waves as our SaaS partners at
Foodsteps just bagged USD4.1m to help them scale up and double their team size in the next 12 months! We're thrilled to see their progress and are excited to continue our collaborative efforts to make scope 3 accounting possible for Asia's biggest food and hospitality businesses!

Food is less nutritious than they used to be

In the lifetime of our parents (or grandparents), the nutrient level in fruits and vegetables has declined drastically.

"Mounting evidence from multiple scientific studies shows that many fruits, vegetables, and grains grown today carry less protein, calcium, phosphorus, iron, riboflavin, and vitamin C than those that were grown decades ago," with these findings recently published on
National Geographic. And the root of the problem sits with "the modern agricultural processes that increase crop yields but disturbs soil health." It not only affects the fruits, vegetables and grains but the study also found that cows, pigs, and lambs are eating less nutritious grasses and grains, making them less nutritious also!

But there is a way to turn this around. The way to increase nutrition in foods is to improve soil fertility through regenerative farming practices.

And voila.

 “The food sector right now doesn’t do a great job of disclosing the majority of their emissions, which come from Scope 3 within their value chain. And we found that companies that don’t disclose and really understand their emissions have a hard time addressing them with action plans.”- Julie Nash, senior program director of Food and Forests at Ceres 


Climate Farmers

Climate Farmers presents a series of webinars bringing together leading experts in the fields of soil carbon removal & the voluntary carbon market, and this was the third in the series. Nbs has a vital role to play in reaching our net-zero ambitions. They’re not a silver bullet solution. But if employed responsibly under the guiding principles of additionality & permanence, they provide a fundamental building block in our path to climate adaptation, mitigation & regeneration.
Breaking Boundaries - The Science of our Planet

David Attenborough and scientist Johan Rockström walks you through the different
planetary boundaries, examines Earth's biodiversity collapse, and how this crisis can still be averted. Wonder if our politicians and those in power will take note….
Thank you for sticking around. Stay tuned for new team member
profiles and an updated look next month.

Let's solve climate change with good food!
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