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Zero Foodprint Asia Monthly  |  30 April 2022

Zero Foodprint Asia
April Newsletter

Hello Friends, 

April's been a full-on month. From ongoing news around global oil shortages to food insecurity, and climate disasters, we honestly have a hard time catching our breath. Add to that, the latest
IPCC report on mitigation made for some grim reading where the UN secretary-general outspokenly lambasted world and business leaders for saying one thing while doing another - basically calling them a bunch of liars. And he's right.

Despite this, we kept calm and carried on with the inaugural ZFP #Eat4Earth campaign which came and went as a collective exercise. Not only was it a test of the times to raise $$ despite the various challenges HK was facing, but it allowed for creative ways for our week-long partners (thank you!) to share the cause for regenerative solutions on their platforms.

Furthermore, we’ve been bustling with excitement fielding applications from the farming community who are currently applying for the first-ever Restore Fund in Asia! The fund itself will provide farmers with the tools, knowledge, materials, and resources to shift to regenerative practices on their farms, for the primary purpose of increasing soil health.

Why? Because soil is one of the most overlooked and undervalued natural resources in the world. It's because of earth's soil, that's why we have been able to produce 95% of what we eat. Tragically, it's also because of the way we grow food, that 40% of all global land is now already degraded.

So although Earth Month is over, let's continue to work together to let our governments and business leaders in Asia know that urgent action is needed for soil conservation - in particular regenerative agriculture. Because protecting and restoring degraded agricultural land provides untapped potential for reducing and sequestering carbon emissions. 

Our Month in a Nutshell

In just four months, we helped move over ONE TONNE of organic and/or regeneratively grown produce from 7 HK farms, to 20+ restaurants and bars; widening the eyes, mindsets, and imaginations of our industry friends to over 100 varieties of fruits and vegetables. It has been such a real pleasure for the ZFPA team to help manifest these collaborations between HKFP's network of farmers and our restaurant people.
With that said, we sadly have to bid farewell to the #cropstoshops program this May as the weather warms up and varieties of produce deplete over the summer. We pray that the weather gods will cooperate so that farmers get their usual Fall-Winter harvest season back but do stay tuned as we continue to strengthen partnerships for a more robust farm-to-table system.

Complacent optimism is the feeling of a child waiting for presents. Conditional optimism is the feeling of a child who is thinking about building a treehouse. (Romer, n.d.)

Good Morning Britain made for some cringe-worthy news the other week where climate activist Miranda Whelehan was subjected to a line of questioning that was eerily similar to the Netflix movie “Don’t Look Up”.

"Just when humanity needs to be able to come to common agreements, we are in a burning building falling out about who
owns the furniture." - William Hague

New Partner Alert!

A huge welcome to KIN Food Hall for joining us on the Carbon Neutrality Program!

KIN is the first food solution that learns what a building wants to eat, and they are "challenging the fundamentals of traditional delivery in ways that are financially, socially and environmentally more beneficial." Adhering to KIN's strict ingredient charter, the 300-seat food hall strives to source ingredients from organic, responsible, and ethically run farms. Together, we will work to analyze KIN's menu life cycle from cradle-to-grave, collect data on their operational carbon footprint and assist them in their carbon neutrality journey.

1% of every purchase will allow them to stay accountable in their journey towards carbon neutrality, while helping to speed up our ambition to scale regenerative farming in the region.

 Industry News 

EU ministers have brought clarity to their carbon farming strategy

An interesting article we found provides an overview of how quickly the carbon farming sector is being developed in the European Union. The study identifies opportunities and constraints for carbon farming, options for financing, and open questions that need to be resolved to scale up carbon farming in a way that delivers robust climate mitigation and European Union Green Deal objectives. The key findings from the study include:
  1. a need for further development of carbon farming monitoring methods, increased practical experience, and improved assessments of carbon farming potential to increase knowledge and reduce barriers to carbon farming uptake.
     
  2. and the need to set dedicated emission reduction and sequestration targets for the agriculture and land use, land-use change, and forestry (LULUCF) sectors. If done, the EU climate policy could provide clear incentives for carbon farming actions addressing both agricultural CO2 and non-CO2 emissions.
Sweden is set to be the world’s first country to target consumption-based emission cuts

Sweden is again leading the climate charge as they include consumption-based emissions into their 2045 net-zero target - that is carbon emissions generated overseas to make products for import. What makes this even more impressive is that 60% of Sweden's total emissions come from abroad, which means the country is about to embark on a journey towards 100% accountability like no other nation in the world.

A potential inhibitor of this move is a lack of universal standards on how to correctly measure and account for all Scope 3 emissions. However, by adopting these ambitious targets, it is anticipated that other European countries will follow suit and look into what they are importing also.

In cities like Hong Kong where 97%+ of our food is imported, we sure as hell need more vigorous accounting to take place. Doing so will help businesses procure more wisely and will allow the government to legislate targeted and more impactful regulations based on food's entire life-cycle emissions - from land-use change at the farm stages, to food loss, transport, and food waste.

 Resources 

Decision-Making in a Nature Positive World

A new diagnostic tool launched by the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL) helps businesses diagnose challenges to implementing nature-based solutions (NbS). What are those challenges we often hear about?
  • Dealing with the unknowns that delay or obfuscate NbS decision-making processes;
  • Making the financial case for NbS benefits, especially when compared to a company’s traditional solutions;
  • Navigating external and reputational pressures such as external stakeholders, regulatory compliance, supply and value chain actors, and possible NbS partners;
  • Engaging and influencing colleagues to convince them of the benefits of NbS and convert them from undecided to NbS supporters.
Thank you for sticking around. Next month, we will reveal our Restore Fund grantees and share with you some exciting partnerships planned ahead!
Let's solve climate change with good food!
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