Food management – Deborah J Miller http://deborahjmiller.com/ Mon, 21 Nov 2022 16:49:31 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.9.3 https://deborahjmiller.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/icon-35-150x150.png Food management – Deborah J Miller http://deborahjmiller.com/ 32 32 Compass North America Announces Over 50% Revenue Growth in 2022 https://deborahjmiller.com/compass-north-america-announces-over-50-revenue-growth-in-2022/ Mon, 21 Nov 2022 15:23:22 +0000 https://deborahjmiller.com/compass-north-america-announces-over-50-revenue-growth-in-2022/ Compass Group, the world’s largest catering contract management company, reported an overall revenue increase of 42.5% (37.5% organic) for its fiscal year 2022, ended September 30, compared to fiscal year 2021, with fourth quarter revenues amounting to 116% of its Q4 2019 figure. For the company’s North American unit, by far the largest with 66.5% […]]]>

Compass Group, the world’s largest catering contract management company, reported an overall revenue increase of 42.5% (37.5% organic) for its fiscal year 2022, ended September 30, compared to fiscal year 2021, with fourth quarter revenues amounting to 116% of its Q4 2019 figure. For the company’s North American unit, by far the largest with 66.5% of the total in 2022, the increase was even more substantial, up 53.6% (44.1% on an organic basis) driven by a jump of 244% in Sports/Leisure and 74% in B&I, while Education (including including C&U and K-12) increased by 54% and Healthcare/Seniors, the largest unit by revenue, increased by 18.6%.

Compass also notes an “excellent” net new business of 7.5% and a customer retention rate of 96.4% (a new record for the company). He cited “strong contributions” from North America and Europe in new business and suggested the market for first-time outsourcing “remains buoyant,” accounting for around 45% of new business.

In North America, net new business growth was 9% “reflecting both strong new business and continued high retention at 97.1%,” the company’s press release said, with growth “extended to all sectors, with solid gains thanks to the first outsourcing”. .” B&I and Sports/Leisure “benefited from a continued recovery in volumes throughout the year, reflecting the return to the office and live events, as well as higher per capita spending,” the statement added. “Both sectors recorded strong double-digit net new business growth,” while education, “despite strong reopening numbers last year, continued to rebuild volumes during the year and l ‘resilient health and life of the elderly business continued to perform well’.

In individual markets for the company as a whole in fiscal year 2022 versus 2021, sports/leisure organic revenue increased 126.5% while B&I increased 47.4%, education by 41.3% and health/senior life by 11.2%. Defense/Offshore/Remote, a minor part of North American operations and only about 8% of the company’s business as a whole, rose 9.5%. All but B&I also posted total revenue for the year that topped pre-pandemic fiscal 2019, while B&I accounted for 90.9% of revenue in fiscal 2019, steadily increasing each quarter to peak at 106.1% from Q4 2019 to Q4 2022.

For 2023, Compass expects organic revenue growth of around 15% weighted towards the first half of the fiscal year.

“Our strategic focus is food, with targeted support services,” the company’s statement commented. “There remains a significant opportunity for structural growth from the first outsourcing, as around half of the market is still self-sustaining. As the operating environment becomes increasingly challenging due to inflationary pressures, increased customer demands and other additional complexities, we have a clear strategy to capture the resulting acceleration of first outsourcing based our focus, scale and expertise.

Going forward, Compass says it expects a significant competitive advantage from its current market position.

“As the world’s largest player, our scale of supply and focus on profitability give us competitive advantages that translate into greater value for customers and consumers,” he noted. “Our sectorized and sub-sectored approach allows us to offer a tailor-made offer to meet the changing needs of customers. We continue to invest in our market-leading digital and ESG propositions, which are clear catalysts for growth in the foodservice market. »

Group CEO Dominic Blakemore echoed those expectations and celebrated the 2022 figures by announcing the results for the 2022 financial year.

“The Group’s performance exceeded our expectations in terms of both net new business growth and a recovery in base volume, with Business & Industry now operating above its pre-pandemic revenues,” it said. he declares. “The strong growth trends seen in the first half of the year continued, with a clear acceleration in new business throughout the year in all of our regions. Our clients continue to face operational complexities and inflationary pressures, which are driving increased outsourcing, and we are successfully capitalizing on the resulting growth opportunities.

He added that “North America continues to perform well” and that “thanks to the hard work of our teams around the world, Compass has emerged from the pandemic a stronger and more resilient company, reflecting our clear strategy and our growth at the forefront of the market”. catalysts. While the macroeconomic environment is uncertain, we are working in partnership with our clients to mitigate inflationary pressures and supporting our colleagues during this difficult time by providing financial support and other benefits.

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Feeding Ourselves and Landing Through Food – Food Tank https://deborahjmiller.com/feeding-ourselves-and-landing-through-food-food-tank/ Sat, 19 Nov 2022 08:00:07 +0000 https://deborahjmiller.com/feeding-ourselves-and-landing-through-food-food-tank/ FromSoil2Soul, based in California, helps people feel the healing effects of nature. The organization’s founder, Devorah Brous, accomplishes this mission by teaching individuals and communities regenerative homesteading techniques, primarily focused on food production. “Growing food regeneratively is a tangible benefit for the well-being of the individual, the community and the planet: replacing a broken relationship […]]]>

FromSoil2Soul, based in California, helps people feel the healing effects of nature. The organization’s founder, Devorah Brous, accomplishes this mission by teaching individuals and communities regenerative homesteading techniques, primarily focused on food production.

“Growing food regeneratively is a tangible benefit for the well-being of the individual, the community and the planet: replacing a broken relationship with nature with a renewed and reciprocal relationship with the healing forces of nature. Brous told Food Tank.

Brous started FromSoil2Soul as a way to guide people towards a more holistic way of life through hands-on courses that connect people with the earth. Her classes teach participants about gardening, food preservation, herbal remedies, seed knowledge, and composting. For individuals or communities, Brous also offers installations and support for vegetable gardens, food forest systems, composting systems and chicken coops. His approach prioritizes soil health and cultivating a strong gut microbiome.

“I’ve seen the best changemakers and wide-eyed believers reach their threshold, become unhealthy and leave the movement’s organization,” Brous, a veteran environmental justice community organizer, told Food Tank. “The study of land rights, soil science and herbalism is what drew me to regenerative gardening, regenerative healing and the cultivation of food as medicine.”

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), Burnout is a professional phenomenon characterized by feelings of exhaustion, alienation or emotional distancing, apathy and reduced performance. Burnout is often the result of prolonged periods of stress.

Burnout Rates Are Rising in the United States A 2021 survey by the American Psychological Association finds that approximately 80 percent of respondents reported recent work-related stress, and nearly 60% experienced negative impacts as a result.

At the same time, certain aspects of a modern way of life are associated with reduced connectivity with nature. A study in Scientists progress names increased indoor time, screen time, and decreased outdoor recreation as barriers to routine exposure to nature.

“Many of us live at a breakneck pace, far from the rhythms of nature and largely unavailable to observe subtle changes around us or within us,” Brous told Food Tank. But, she continues, “tending the plants, sifting the harvest by hand, cooking slowly and eating without a screen are some of the little gestures of the week that can help us manage the anxiety or depression that causes so many diseases”.

Part of Brous’ advice includes the Regenerative Change Cycle, a framework she developed as an anti-burnout strategy. The cyclical stages include fallowing, sowing, tending and harvesting. His teaching also blends indigenous wisdom surrounding biomimicry and permaculture with ancient land laws found in the Torah.

Brous explains that home food production can promote physical well-being by providing nutrient-dense, chemical-free food. The maintenance of the earth also serves as ecotherapy.

“The shift from dependence on junk food to greater self-sufficiency is profoundly healing. Listening to our body’s needs is healing. Learning to become our own kitchen medicine makers and folk herbalists is empowering,” said Brous told Food Tank.

Several studies, especially in the International Journal of the Environment Research and Public health and Current directions in psychological sciences support the link between nature and well-being. Research suggests that there are positive correlations between exposure to natural stimuli and social well-being, Cognitive functioning and stress management. And one study Posted in Frontiers in public health cites therapeutic horticulture as one of the most effective approaches to ecotherapy.

“The benefits for individuals who grow chemical-free, nutrient-dense foods in tandem with nature’s cycles are myriad: from increased physical well-being to increased spiritual well-being,” Brous said. at Food Tank. “Food culture guides us in abundance, diversity, relationships, and survival – all concepts that nurture well-being and cultivate a growth mindset.”

Prior to starting FromSoil2Soul, Brous spent 15 years in Palestine where she witnessed increasing environmental contamination, westernization of traditional lifestyles became westernized, forced urbanization that separated Bedouins from their dryland agricultural and cultural practices.

In response, she founded BUSTAN, a non-profit organization designed to provide medical services to unrecognized Bedouins living in an off-grid village. Many have suffered from diet-related illnesses and chronic complications attributed to growing health risks posed by nearby chemical factories, an oil depot, a military testing area and a toxic waste incinerator.

“Food as healing is about reclaiming the power to choose what seed we grow, where and how we grow food,” Brous told Food Tank. “It’s also about the pace at which we eat, our gratitude practices and learning how farm workers are treated. It is with every choice along the food chain, from farm to fork, that we deepen and expand our integral relationship with nature as a healer.

Articles like the one you just read are made possible by the generosity of Food Tank members. Can we count on you to be part of our growing movement? Become a member today by clicking here.

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One week left in VTDigger Thanksgiving food and news drive https://deborahjmiller.com/one-week-left-in-vtdigger-thanksgiving-food-and-news-drive/ Wed, 16 Nov 2022 19:50:47 +0000 https://deborahjmiller.com/one-week-left-in-vtdigger-thanksgiving-food-and-news-drive/ It is heartening to see the outpouring of support we have already received this week.There’s only one week left until Thanksgiving and our goal of sending 10,000 meals to the Vermont Food Bank. Daily readers like you have stepped up to become members for the first time with donations of all sizes. Are you supporting […]]]>

It is heartening to see the outpouring of support we have already received this week.
There’s only one week left until Thanksgiving and our goal of sending 10,000 meals to the Vermont Food Bank.

Daily readers like you have stepped up to become members for the first time with donations of all sizes. Are you supporting our nonprofit reporting during this critical time with a gift that works for you?

Our annual fundraising is the most important moment of the year for the sustainability of our information activities. Your donation will support our daily and investigative journalism and help fight growing hunger in Vermont by sending 10 meals to the Vermont Food Bank.

Together, our Thanksgiving goal is to send 10,000 meals in the next seven days! Will you donate and help keep our community informed and nurtured?

Investing in local news is investing in the health of those around you. We appreciate your readership and your dedication to our community.

On line: vtdigger.org/donate
Call: (802) 225-6791
Mail: Make checks payable to VTDigger, 26 State Street, Suite 8, Montpelier, VT 05602

We produce rigorous journalism that explains complex issues, holds government accountable to the public, and engages Vermonters in the democratic process.

VTDigger is a project of the Vermont Journalism Trust, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Our tax identification number is 27-1553931

Did you know that VTDigger is a non-profit organization?

Our journalism is made possible by donations from members of readers like you. If you appreciate what we do, please contribute at our annual fundraiser and send 10 meals to the Vermont Food Bank when you do.

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Monday, November 14 – Food Tank https://deborahjmiller.com/monday-november-14-food-tank/ Mon, 14 Nov 2022 06:30:46 +0000 https://deborahjmiller.com/monday-november-14-food-tank/ Food Tank’s Dispatch from the UN Climate Change Conference is a series of special newsletters released daily during COP27. To make sure it lands straight in your inbox and to be among the first to receive it, subscribe to the Food Tank newsletter now by clicking here. The true cost of our food and agricultural […]]]>

Food Tank’s Dispatch from the UN Climate Change Conference is a series of special newsletters released daily during COP27. To make sure it lands straight in your inbox and to be among the first to receive it, subscribe to the Food Tank newsletter now by clicking here.

The true cost of our food and agricultural systems goes far beyond what we pay for groceries.

Food and agricultural production, including public health costs, environmental damage, unfair and inequitable working conditions, and much more, costs us nearly US$30 trillion a year.

“We are paying for the food system. We pay for it in the form of diabetes treatment. We pay for it in biodiversity loss,” Sara Farley of the Rockefeller Foundation told me on Saturday.

At least 93% of member states mention food in their NDCs in some capacity, but only 3% of climate finance goes to food systems.

Our discussions at COP27 this weekend reminded me that while we should be celebrating the staging of food systems at global forums like the COP, we can’t stop there. Money and resources must reach those working on the ground, especially small-scale farmers, women, indigenous communities and others who are too often underrepresented or forgotten in climate conversations.

“Billions of dollars are promised, but the money never stops where it is needed. Very often it gets stuck in structures and farmers, especially smallholder farmers, women, don’t know how to access it,” says Martina Fleckenstein, director of global policy at WWF International.

On Saturday, we discussed how to form a more unified voice around what a sustainable food future looks like. Dr. Lee Recht of Aleph Farms says that right now, “we’re all working in parallel silos instead of working together.”

Speakers on all panels emphasized the importance of representing a diversity of backgrounds, cultures and traditions. “We need community voices,” says Farley. “We need to hear from indigenous peoples, we need small farmers, big farmers. Everyone needs a voice.

Million Belay, coordinator of the Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa, highlighted how holistic and integrated approaches to food production, such as agroecology, are inherently more inclusive.

“Agroecology builds system resilience,” says Belay. “It is based on enriching the soil, bringing communities together, planting various crops, and the basis for future initiatives on people’s culture and practices.”

Here are some other important takeaways from the COP27 negotiations and discussions:

Over the weekend, Sameh Shoukry, Minister of Foreign Affairs and President of COP27, launched the Climate Responses for Sustaining Peace (CRSP) initiative.

The initiative is based on four pillars, in which sustainable food systems are specifically highlighted: (1) strengthening the link between climate adaptation and peacebuilding, (2) sustaining peace through sustainable food systems resilient, (3) provide sustainable solutions to climate change. the link to displacement; and (4) accelerating climate finance for peacekeeping.

The importance of climate-resilient food systems is particularly evident in developing countries and rural populations, where small-scale producers are already under strain.

“We need to help rural people build their resilience to extreme weather events and adapt to climate change. Otherwise, we just go from one crisis to another. Small farmers are working hard to produce food for us under difficult conditions,” said Sabrina Dhowre Elba, UN Goodwill Ambassador for the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), at a press conference.

On Saturday, Mexico pledged to cut emissions by 35% by 2030, down from a previous target of 22%, making it one of the few countries at this COP to improve its targets. (Read more on Bloomberg.)

Meanwhile, scientists have warned that there are limits to climate adaptation, recommending that loss and damage – or the impacts of extreme weather so severe that countries cannot adapt – are becoming a bigger part of the conversations at COP27.

“Adaptation actions are still crucial and essential to improve small-scale, fragmented and reactive efforts. But the potential for adaptation to climate change is not unlimited. And they will not prevent all losses and all damage we have seen,” says Simon Stiell, Executive Secretary of UN Climate Change.

US climate envoy John Kerry said the US was “fully supportive” of discussing how to deal with loss and damage, which has become a contentious issue at the COP . “We want to engage,” Kerry says. (Read more at The Guardian.)

I start Monday morning by talking about sustainable governance and management interventions in aquatic and aquatic food systems to achieve food and nutrition security in the face of climate change (Food Systems Pavilion, 11:00 a.m. EET, 4:00 a.m. ET, 1:00 a.m. PT). Speakers include Rose Labrèche, Fisheries and Oceans Canada; Karen Ross, California Department of Food and Agriculture; and Darko Manakovski, from the Global Water Partnership. (Live stream HERE.)

We screen the film “Food 2050” at the Food4Climate pavilion (2 p.m. EET, 7 a.m. ET, 4 a.m. PT) followed by a post-screening panel discussion with Sara Farley, Rockefeller Foundation; Rupa Marya, physician and author of Inflamed; Matte Wilson, Sicangu Food Sovereignty Initiative (SFSI); and Andrew York, Media RED. (Live stream HERE.)

And we’ll immediately dive into three very special panels on gender equality and women’s empowerment in food systems, with an incredible lineup of women leaders: Women Leading the Future of Food with Chief Caleen SiskSpiritual Leader and Hereditary Chief, Winnemem Wintu Tribe; Shannon Cosentino-RoushEndless feeds; Katie McCoshanFood and Land Use Coalition, World Resources Institute; Therese Lieb, GreenBiz; and Jennifer Stojkovic, Vegan Women’s Summit. Women in food, climate, technology and finance with Dr. Lee RechtAleph Farms; Patty Fong, Global Alliance for the Future of Food; and Rane Cortez, Nature conservation. And finally, Rethink nutrition with Nicole PitaIPES-Food; Juliette TrochonProVeg International; Eirini Pitsilidi, Compassion for World Agriculture; and Satya S. Tripathi, Global Alliance for a Sustainable Planet. (From 4:10 p.m. EET, 9:10 a.m. ET, 6:10 a.m. PT live stream HERE.)

If you’re on the ground in Egypt, we’d love for you to come say hello! And for those logging in remotely, thank you so much for following us. Listen to any conversations that might fit your schedule and don’t forget to share your reactions using #FoodCOP27.

What I think about as the COP27 negotiations continue:

  • The food cold chain is often overlooked, but it has a significant impact on the environment. Emissions from food loss and waste due to lack of refrigeration totaled about 2 percent of total global greenhouse gas emissions in 2017. (Read more at FAO News.)
  • At COP15 in Copenhagen, developed countries pledged to channel $100 billion a year to less wealthy countries by 2020, to help them adapt to climate change and mitigate further temperature rises . This promise was not kept. Today, “the choice is between adapting or starving,” says IFAD Regional Director Dina Saleh. (Read more on UN News.)

Powerful quotes from today’s talks:

  • “Women are an integral part of the entire food system, from production to household consumption and food disposal.” — Mansi Shah, Research, Documentation and Design Consultant, Self Employed Women’s Association (SEWA)
  • “We should not wait for a crisis to discuss food and agriculture and the links to climate and other issues.” — Saswati Bora, Global Director of Regenerative Food Systems, The Nature Conservancy

Articles like the one you just read are made possible by the generosity of Food Tank members. Can we count on you to be part of our growing movement? Become a member today by clicking here.

Photo courtesy of Naseem BurasUnsplash

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Friday, November 11 – Food Tank https://deborahjmiller.com/friday-november-11-food-tank/ Fri, 11 Nov 2022 06:05:47 +0000 https://deborahjmiller.com/friday-november-11-food-tank/ Food Tank’s Dispatch from the UN Climate Change Conference is a series of special newsletters released daily during COP27. To make sure it lands straight in your inbox and to be among the first to receive it, subscribe to the Food Tank newsletter now by clicking here. I’ll be honest: I was moved to tears […]]]>

Food Tank’s Dispatch from the UN Climate Change Conference is a series of special newsletters released daily during COP27. To make sure it lands straight in your inbox and to be among the first to receive it, subscribe to the Food Tank newsletter now by clicking here.

I’ll be honest: I was moved to tears yesterday speaking to the young activists who are the future of our global food system.

Yesterday was Youth Day here at COP27. I expressed the need to respect the voice of those who will inherit the future of the food system. And thankfully, they are making their voices heard more powerfully than ever.

“I want world leaders to treat the climate crisis as a crisis,” said Vanessa Nakate, a Ugandan climate activist and founder of the Rise up Climate Movement. Nakate and others have created a video explaining to leaders what they want to see from COP27. I encourage you to watch it on Twitter HERE.

To shine a light on the role of young people in sustainable food systems, Food Tank’s own programming here at #FoodCOP27 started yesterday. I moderated a panel in partnership with the World Farmers Organization titled “The Future is Now: How to Unleash the Potential of Young Farmers for Sustainable Future Food Systems”. We heard from Roy Steiner of the Rockefeller Foundation; Arnold Puech d’Alissac and Khoushbou Sewraj, both of the World Farmers’ Organization; and Dr. Mark Smith of the International Water Management Institute; with Xiye Bastida, a young activist from the Otomi-Toltec indigenous community and the Re-Earth Initiative, and Ayisha Siddiqa, a young Pakistani climate justice activist from Polluters Out.

Here at COP27, there is a youth pavilion for the first time. Youth delegations have taken their advocacy to the UN in monumental fashion. But it is not enough to simply invite young people to these events. Our young leaders need to be involved in serious discussions with policy makers, they told me during yesterday’s panel, “if we really want to save the world”. None of us know everything, and the youngest among us are the first to admit it. But they need to have access to mentorship. They need financial investment in resources. They need elders to respect them.

Speaking with these incredible young leaders, as I mentioned, I was overwhelmed with emotion. I was particularly inspired by how Ayisha, Xiye and Khoushbou described the transformation that required activism, advocacy and real leadership. Change will come, Ayisha told me, when we formulate our ideas in love.

Here are some other important takeaways from the COP27 negotiations and discussions:

As mentioned, this COP is unique in its focus on food and agricultural issues, which are attracting global attention. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, for example, plans to launch an initiative this year to tackle on-farm emissions as part of the urgent need to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius. . FAO deputy director Zitouni Ould-Dada told Reuters about the agency’s plans.

The COP negotiations also put pressure on world leaders. The US has been reluctant to take meaningful domestic action, and European leaders have called on President Joe Biden, US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi – who appeared at the COP – and others. Writing in The New York Times, Rachel Kyte, dean of the Fletcher School of Diplomacy at Tufts University, said:

“I hear African leaders say, ‘We have always understood that the Congress is difficult. But do the American people not understand what is happening to the planet? ,” Kyte told the newspaper.

Today is another big day here at #FoodCOP27. Right now I’m on my way to the food and agriculture pavilion to lead a discussion with WWF about Koronivia’s joint work on agriculture and more broadly why we need to expand the mandates of organizations civilians to achieve better results for the climate, people and nature. It starts at 8:30 a.m. EET today (1:30 a.m. ET Friday morning, 10:30 p.m. PT Thursday night), with Alice Ruhwezadirector of WWF Africa; HE Dr Yasmine FouadEgyptian Minister of the Environment; HE Fridolin Besungu Cardinal AmbongoArchbishop of Kinshasa, Maria Helena Samedo the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations; Mercedita Sombilla the National Economic Development Authority of the Philippines; and Javier Mateo Vega CGIAR and CIAT.

This afternoon, at 3:00 p.m. EET (8:00 a.m. ET, 5:00 a.m. PT) as an UNFCCC side event, I will be moderating a series of conversations on managing climate risks and the externalities that arise from the system eating. We will speak with Zitouni Ould Dada FAO; Jerome Remmers the TAPP Coalition; Roy Steiner the Rockefeller Foundation; Helena Wright the Jeremy Coller/FAIRR Foundation; Marc Gough of the Coalition of Capitals, Jeremy Coller Coller Capital; Gunhild Stordalen from EAT; Ertharine’s cousin future food systems; and Berry Martin of Rabobank.

Later in the evening, I will join Resilient Cities Network, Media RED and the Rockefeller Foundation for a private screening of “Food 2050”. The film points a camera at 10 of the world’s most optimistic and daring visionaries seeking to heal the planet and our bodies. During the screening, I will moderate a panel with Tom Leaching of Media RED, Sarah Farley of the Rockefeller Foundation, Rupa Maryadoctor and author of “Inflamed”, and Matt Wilson of the Sicangu Food Sovereignty Initiative. And then, at a reception with a menu by a famous chef Bobby Chinnwe will hear Lauren Sorkin the Resilient Cities Network; Rania al-Mashatthe Egyptian Minister for International Cooperation; Rajiv Garodia Visa; Liz Ye the Rockefeller Foundation; and Inger AndersenExecutive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme.

What I think about as the COP27 negotiations continue:

  • Data shows that fossil fuel lobbyists outnumber almost all national delegations here at COP27, underscoring how loud our voices for change must be. There are over 600 fossil fuel industry lobbyists here, more than the number of people here representing the ten countries most affected by climate change and 25% more than last year’s COP. (Read more on Euronews).
  • Our colleagues at the Rockefeller Foundation, however, are working to shine a light on Indigenous and regenerative practices at COP27 with over $11 million in grants. This funding will go to organizations working globally on these traditional and sustainable practices. “Continuing to rely solely on conventional approaches cannot generate the profound changes needed to improve food systems,” said Roy Steiner, senior vice president of the Food Initiative at the Foundation. (Read more HERE).

Powerful quotes from today’s talks:

  • “It’s still a very intellectual discussion to say that young people should get into farming. How? Where do they start? And investing in extension services must be one of the most important [things].” — Wanjira Mathai, Managing Director for Africa and Global Partnerships at the World Resources Institute
  • “What I want more from leaders at this COP is for them to really include young people as stakeholders, not just as tokens.” — Xiye Bastida, youth activist from the Otomi-Toltec Indigenous Community and the Re-Earth Initiative

Articles like the one you just read are made possible by the generosity of Food Tank members. Can we count on you to be part of our growing movement? Become a member today by clicking here.

Photo courtesy of Patrick Mcgregor, Unsplash

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Dogs donated by Kim Jong Un taken into custody by South Korean president https://deborahjmiller.com/dogs-donated-by-kim-jong-un-taken-into-custody-by-south-korean-president/ Tue, 08 Nov 2022 11:00:00 +0000 https://deborahjmiller.com/dogs-donated-by-kim-jong-un-taken-into-custody-by-south-korean-president/ Comment this story Comment SEOUL — Two fluffy former “peace puppies,” gifted in 2018 by North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, are now at the center of a custody line between the former and current South Korean presidents. Moon Jae-in, who left South Korea’s top leadership in May, plans to give up the pair of […]]]>

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SEOUL — Two fluffy former “peace puppies,” gifted in 2018 by North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, are now at the center of a custody line between the former and current South Korean presidents.

Moon Jae-in, who left South Korea’s top leadership in May, plans to give up the pair of dogs Kim presented to her to mark the growing friendship between the two countries after a summit four years ago. Moon’s office said on Monday that he made the decision due to a lack of support from his successor, Yoon Suk-yeol.

Pungsan hunting dogs – the beloved breed originated in North Korea – are named Songgang and Gomi. They gave birth to seven puppies during Moon’s presidency, and he took the parents and one offspring to his personal residence as he left office.

It was an unprecedented move since the trio, as official state property, was supposed to be returned to the Presidential Archives in accordance with the requirements of the Presidential Archives Act. But after negotiations with the archives and the Interior Ministry, Moon was given custody of the dogs, according to his office. The ministry even requested a legislative amendment to implement this decision.

But like so many custody disputes, money seems to have gotten in the way.

South Korea’s Chosun Ilbo newspaper reported on Monday that the ministry has proposed a monthly budget of 2.5 million won ($1,800) in public funds to cover food and veterinary care costs for pets. The plan was derailed by “unexplained opposition” from Yoon’s administration, Moon’s office said.

“It appears that the presidential office is against entrusting the management of the Pungsan dogs to former President Moon,” he said in a statement. “If so, we can be cool about it.”

The statement cited Moon’s “regrets” for having had to return “pets to which he had become attached.”

The plight of the dogs sparked an online outcry, with many South Koreans asking how they could be treated as standard property and offering to adopt the family themselves.

Moon’s claim also prompted a denial from President Yoon’s office, which said relevant agencies were still discussing the situation. A lawmaker from the ruling People Power Party, Kweon Seong-dong, called the former president’s action “shameful”.

“Is he giving up the dogs because he’s no longer eligible to cover food and care costs with tax money?” Kweon asked on Facebook.

Dogs have been a repeated symbol of warming ties between rival Koreas. In 2000, North Korean leader Kim Jong Il gave two Pungsan dogs to his South Korean counterpart, Kim Dae-jung. Seoul returned the favor with two Jindo dogs named Peace and Reunification.

None of the parties to this week’s dispute have provided full details of monthly pet expenses – which amount to $21,600 per year. Songgang and Gomi stayed out of sight.

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Carl Icahn buys shares in canning giant Crown. Here’s how it can create value https://deborahjmiller.com/carl-icahn-buys-shares-in-canning-giant-crown-heres-how-it-can-create-value/ Sat, 05 Nov 2022 12:24:26 +0000 https://deborahjmiller.com/carl-icahn-buys-shares-in-canning-giant-crown-heres-how-it-can-create-value/ Picture | Tetra Images | Getty Images Company: Crown Holdings (CCK) Company: Crown assets is a world leader in the design, manufacture and sale of packaging products for consumer goods and industrial products. They operate in three segments: beverages, which accounts for approximately 70% of earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization; Transit Packaging and […]]]>

Picture | Tetra Images | Getty Images

Company: Crown Holdings (CCK)

Company: Crown assets is a world leader in the design, manufacture and sale of packaging products for consumer goods and industrial products. They operate in three segments: beverages, which accounts for approximately 70% of earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization; Transit Packaging and Food, which together account for approximately 30% of EBITDA. Their consumer packaging solutions primarily support the beverage and food industries through the sale of aluminum and steel cans. Their packaging for industrial products includes steel and plastic consumables and equipment, paper-based protective packaging, and plastic film consumables and equipment, which are sold in the metal, food and beverage industries, construction, agriculture, corrugated and general.

Market value: $8.8 billion ($73.75 per share)

Activist: Carl Icahn

Percentage of ownership: 8.5%

Average cost: $79.80

Activist Comment: Carl Icahn is the grandfather of shareholder activism and a true pioneer of strategy. Although he’s not slowing down at all, he has made a deal with his son, Brett Icahn, to join the company as an eventual successor. Brett plans to use his father’s favorite approach of pushing companies to make changes intended to boost their stock prices, though he hasn’t ruled out friendly bets either. This is no departure from the strategy Carl has been successful with for many years. It can be friendly (eg Apple, Netflix) or it can be confrontational (eg Forest Labs, Biogen), often depending on management response. Brett is an impressive activist investor in his own right, not because he is Carl’s son, but because he has demonstrated a long track record of extremely successful activist investing. The Sargon portfolio he co-managed at Icahn totaled approximately $7 billion and included hugely profitable investments in companies such as Netflix Inc. and Apple Inc. The Sargon portfolio significantly outperformed the market with an annualized return of 27 %. However, before that, Brett started in 2002 with Icahn as an analyst and later was responsible for campaigns like Hain Celestial (280.3% return vs. 46.7% for the S&P500), Take-Two Interactive (81 .5% vs. 64.5% for the S&P500) and Mentor Graphics (106.4% vs. 79.4% for the S&P500).

What is happening?

In the wings

Crown operates in a consolidated global market with only four players globally and high barriers to entry – regional monopolies due to shipping costs, long-term contracts and training and experience to operate factories. Their growth profile is accelerating, driven by sustainability trends and shifting consumer preferences: around 75% of new products are canned today, up from around 30% in 2014. They also benefit downside protection for a non-cyclical product.

Crown boosted EBITDA during the pandemic, when demand for aluminum cans increased as restaurants and bars were forced to close and consumers bought canned cocktails and beer to consume at home. The company underperformed its peers, including its main competitor Ball. Last week, they saw a sharp decline in the share price from $85.01 on Oct. 24 to $70.69 on Oct. 25, following their latest earnings release. They attributed their weaker financial outlook to inflation, high interest rates and unfavorable currency translation. This underperformance is also due to a hesitant demand for canned drinks which has exploded during the pandemic, leading to excess inventory.

The opportunity to create shareholder value here is relatively straightforward: sell non-core businesses, buy back shares, and focus on the pure-play beverage business. The company announced its acquisition of Signode, a transit packaging company, for $3.9 billion in 2017, and may be hesitant to sell it for less now. However, there is a lot of value in selling this business, not the least of which is the amount of proceeds they receive (within reason). There is more value in how they use these products (i.e. buying back shares in an undervalued and growing company). There’s also tremendous value in freeing up management to focus on the core business, and there’s value in being a pure play company and bringing a market multiple closer to its pure play counterpart, Ball. Thus, management should not focus so much on what they can get for Signode as on what a sale allows them to do in the future. Crown also runs an aerosol and food packaging business that makes boxes for household products and snacks and still has a minority stake in the European food box business. Icahn believes the company should sell off all those non-core assets and focus on the beverage can business which has secular tailwinds and is undervalued compared to its pure-play counterpart. Using cash flow to strengthen the balance sheet and repurchase shares before that would improve returns for shareholders as Crown closes that valuation gap.

Icahn isn’t the only activist to hold a position at Crown. Impactive Capital first disclosed a stake in Crown in its Q1 2020 13F filing and argued for the company to pursue the same opportunities that Icahn advocated – disposal of non-core assets and share buybacks. Shortly after Impactive’s statement, Crown announced a strategic review of its portfolio and capital allocation priorities. This resulted in the divestment of 80% of the company’s European food box business in 2021. But there is clearly more portfolio simplification that can be done here. Impactive always has an environmental, social and governance thesis in its investments and looks for situations where positive ESG improvements can generate value. This situation is no exception. Focusing on the growing market for aluminum cans as a replacement for plastic and glass is not only good for Crown, but also good for the environment. Because the inherent properties of aluminum do not change during use or recycling, the cans are 100% recyclable repeatedly.

It’s important to note that there’s a ton of value here regardless of who’s on the leadership team. I wouldn’t assume Icahn or Impactive want to see a change of direction here. But if the steering isn’t up to snuff, it’s always a possibility. On a recent conference call, Crown CEO Timothy Donahue said, “You never like to say, we’re caught off guard, but I think we really were.” When you’re a CEO who’s been caught off guard, the last thing you want to see is Carl Icahn appearing in your stock.

Ken Squire is the founder and president of 13D Monitor, an institutional research service on shareholder activism, and he is the founder and portfolio manager of the 13D Activist Fund, a mutual fund that invests in a portfolio of activist investments 13D. Squire is also the creator of the AESG™ investment category, an activist style of investing focused on improving the ESG practices of portfolio companies.

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In Antarctica, larger marine protected areas are needed to protect emperor penguins https://deborahjmiller.com/in-antarctica-larger-marine-protected-areas-are-needed-to-protect-emperor-penguins/ Wed, 02 Nov 2022 21:07:00 +0000 https://deborahjmiller.com/in-antarctica-larger-marine-protected-areas-are-needed-to-protect-emperor-penguins/ To sufficiently protect emperor penguins and help the species avoid extinction, governments should strengthen marine protections around Antarctica, scientists say. The recommendation follows new research that shows young emperor penguins venture much farther than adults to forage for food, journeys that take them well outside established and proposed conservation areas in the Weddell Sea. , […]]]>

To sufficiently protect emperor penguins and help the species avoid extinction, governments should strengthen marine protections around Antarctica, scientists say.

The recommendation follows new research that shows young emperor penguins venture much farther than adults to forage for food, journeys that take them well outside established and proposed conservation areas in the Weddell Sea. , which is home to a third of the established colonies of emperor penguins on Earth. .

For the study, scientists tracked eight juvenile emperor penguins in the Weddell Sea for a year and looked at juvenile Antarctic penguin tracking data from previous studies. Data shows that young birds spent about 90% of their time outside current and proposed marine protected areas (MPAs), and that juveniles traveled more than 745 miles (1,200 kilometers) beyond the protected area. distribution of adult species defined by the International Union for the Protection of the Environment. Nature Conservation. The new study has been published in the journal Royal Society Open Science.

The findings preceded the Oct. 25 announcement that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service had added emperor penguins to the endangered species list, which establishes federal protections that will require Americans not to contribute to the further decline of the species. ‘species. In doing so, the United States said emperor penguins are at risk of extinction due to sea ice loss caused by climate change.

The emperor penguin report also comes as the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) – the governing body responsible for conserving the Southern Ocean – plans to expand the network of MPAs around Antarctica.

The CCAMLR Annual Meeting took place on October 24 and will continue until November 4 in Australia. For several years, the 27 members of CCAMLR have been studying three new proposals for MPAs in the region that would help preserve large areas of the ecosystem.

Studies show that MPAs can help vulnerable ecosystems build resilience to climate change by removing additional stresses, such as fishing. Additionally, networks of connected MPAs can help wildlife even further by providing protected migration routes.

But even if CCAMLR approves the three proposed MPAs, emperor penguins would not be sufficiently protected, the study concludes. Indeed, the CCAMLR delegates relied on scientific data concerning only the movements of adult emperor penguins to propose the limits of the MPA. Researchers are now advocating for more extensive monitoring of young emperor penguins to generate information that supports the most appropriate protections in Antarctic waters.







Today, the estimated 270,000 to 280,000 breeding pairs of emperor penguins in Antarctica are at risk of extinction within this century, according to a study published last year. In proposing to designate the species as threatened, the US Fish and Wildlife Service pointed to scientific predictions that the global emperor penguin population will decline between 26% and 47% by 2050, depending on future carbon emissions.

Emperor penguins need plenty of sea ice to survive, but rising temperatures in Antarctica due to climate change are melting the ice, putting the species at risk. Emperor penguins under the age of 4 are even more vulnerable than adults because they have not fully developed the skills needed to forage for food and avoid predators.

“While everyone is looking at the adult population [of emperor penguins]the juvenile population – which leaves the relative safety of its parents at around five months – is unsupervised and unprotected,” said Dan Zitterbart, associate scientist at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts and co-author of the study. .







Emperor penguins in Antarctica.

John Weller




Emperor penguins, endemic to Antarctica, are the largest and heaviest penguin species in the world, weighing up to 99 pounds and reaching a maximum height of around 4 feet 3 inches. They don’t fly but hold the Guinness World Record for diving deeper and staying underwater longer than any other bird. The farthest dive documented by scientists is 1,854 feet and the longest underwater swim is 32.2 minutes.

Scientists will continue to monitor penguin colonies in the Weddell Sea. Research shows that sea ice in the region, including the Weddell and Ross Seas, where colonies of emperor penguins thrive, is less susceptible to accelerated melting than in other areas of Antarctica. A comprehensive network of MPAs in the Southern Ocean is needed to protect food sources for emperor penguins in the region.

“Some of the Weddell Sea colonies are expected to still be around in 50 to 100 years,” said Aymeric Houstin, the study’s lead author. “It is important to preserve colonies that will be able to withstand climate change, as they could become a refuge for the entire population of emperor penguins.”

Antarctica is one of the fastest warming places on Earth. Alarmingly high temperatures, coupled with increasing fishing pressure, threaten not only emperor penguins but other wildlife, including other penguin species, seals, whales, albatrosses and krill, which are at the center of the Southern Ocean food web and a primary food source for emperor penguins.

To protect this spectacular region, the Pew Bertarelli Ocean Legacy Project and its partners are working with CCAMLR and its member governments to support the adoption of ecosystem-based fisheries management practices and the creation of a network of large-scale MPAs. scale around Antarctica. CCAMLR delegates should continue their efforts to adopt the proposed MPAs, but should also expand their boundaries based on the best available science. This would help protect all of Antarctica’s vulnerable species, including juvenile emperor penguins.

Andrea Kavanagh leads work protecting Antarctica and the Southern Ocean for the Pew Bertarelli Ocean Legacy Project.

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Japan asks if flipping burgers is better than working at a megabank https://deborahjmiller.com/japan-asks-if-flipping-burgers-is-better-than-working-at-a-megabank/ Sun, 30 Oct 2022 23:50:31 +0000 https://deborahjmiller.com/japan-asks-if-flipping-burgers-is-better-than-working-at-a-megabank/ Comment this story Comment In the 1840s, tens of thousands of immigrants descended on California in search of gold to strike it rich. Could young Japanese looking to flip burgers be next? It’s a jocular thought, but Japanese media are still thrilled to hear that, thanks to new legislation, workers at fast food joints in […]]]>

Comment

In the 1840s, tens of thousands of immigrants descended on California in search of gold to strike it rich. Could young Japanese looking to flip burgers be next?

It’s a jocular thought, but Japanese media are still thrilled to hear that, thanks to new legislation, workers at fast food joints in the Golden State could soon be earning $22 an hour. At the current level of the yen, this is equivalent to almost 3,300 yen, or almost four times the average minimum wage in Japan.

At 40 hours a week, that salary would be double what fresh graduates from Japan’s top universities could expect to receive at the country’s prestigious megabanks. One commentator said the discrepancy made working in Japan “look stupid”.

The historic weakness of the yen did not cause the problem, it simply exaggerated the spread. Along with rising inflation, the currency has shone a harsh light on an ugly truth: by international standards, the Japanese masses famous for their hard work are grossly underpaid.

It is a legacy of decades of economic stagnation and conservative choices by management and workers. Average salaries in Japan have sadly stagnated for three decades and are well below the OECD average. Businesses have become obsessed with cutting costs and they’ve done it very well too, with cash reserves and profit margins rising.

But the ripple effect of the battered yen on inflation now means workers’ real incomes are squeezed as rarely before. While Apple Inc. touted unchanged prices for this year’s iPhone lineup, Japanese consumers are paying more than 20% more for an iPhone 14 compared to last year’s model. Predictably, sales in one of Apple’s key regions are among the worst in years.

The situation raises concerns about the risk of brain drain as young people seek opportunities abroad. Conversely, the healthcare and construction workers that Japan is trying to attract from overseas might find the country a less attractive destination when calculating the value of their wages back home.

Even in the current inflationary era, companies still choose to absorb most of the cost increases of largely imported inputs, rather than pass them on to the consumer. For every 100 yen increase in spending, companies on average transfer only 36.6 yen to the customer, according to a survey of more than 1,600 companies by Teikoku Databank. Contrary to the stereotype of the comfortable Japanese cartel, competition in many sectors is fierce and with the pandemic recovery incomplete, many fear that higher prices will send spenders to their rivals.

Of course, it’s good news for consumers (especially the country’s retirees) that inflation in Japan remains relatively low, although it is rising, with prices in Tokyo minus fresh food rising 3.4%. in October, the most since 1989. For shareholders, the increased profit margins that Japanese companies manage to generate are welcome, especially if you pay in dollars.

But the remaining 63.4 yen of that 100 yen cost increase has to come from somewhere. In practice, this means cost reductions and lower profit margins, which translates into less money for workers. It also contributes to the insidious practice of charging lower prices to sub-contractors, which puts strong downward pressure on companies further down the value chain.

The Bank of Japan signaled confusion on Friday, citing “great uncertainties” about how companies would set wages in an inflationary environment. It’s not hard to see where they’re coming from – these circumstances haven’t existed in Japan for three decades, before businesses were traumatized when the economic bubble burst. It is difficult to predict their reaction.

But it’s hard to get too excited to hear that Rengo, Japan’s biggest union, plans to ask for a 5% raise in pay talks in the spring of next year. Even if management agrees to this request, Rengo has only 7 million members, a fraction of Japan’s working population. Pay talks have largely failed to move the needle for three decades: it’s more fundamental structural issues that need to be addressed.

These include the still dismal ability of workers to move easily in the labor market; the disparity between full-time workers and part-time contract workers; low starting salaries, even for highly skilled workers; and the many other remnants of an employment system that has long since lost its usefulness.

The problem, of course, is that any attempt to fix the issues is likely to be deeply unpopular. One of the main reasons why workers are paid so little is that it is incredibly difficult to fire them. Without a booming population, there will be no return to the high-growth boom of the 1970s and 1980s, when the country boasted that nearly everyone was middle class. Labor reform would inevitably require trading job security for job liquidity. Significant measures to reward those with more skills or risk appetite will inevitably increase economic inequality, which Japan has largely avoided despite the slow years (one of the main reasons why its crime is so low and its streets so clean.)

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has spoken of a big game on securing pay rises, but is he the man to tackle such a nasty issue when his stock is at an all-time low? Inflation and a weak yen add a sense of urgency but also open a window of opportunity as businesses and consumers get used to seeing prices rise and begin to consider their options for dealing with it. Kishida talks about using the soft yen to Japan’s advantage; a bold program to encourage investment and jobs in Japan, from foreign and domestic companies, is long overdue.

Despite the yen, Japanese youth are unlikely to give up the country’s many perks to ask Angelenos if they want fries with that. But another 30 years of stagnant wages? Nobody’s gonna like that.

More from Bloomberg Opinion:

• Workers in Japan should ask for a raise: Gearoid Reidy

• Inflation overshoot in Japan. Not much: Moss and Reidy

• Wall Street is in denial of the “real” economy: Gary Shilling

This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the Editorial Board or of Bloomberg LP and its owners.

Gearoid Reidy is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering Japan and the Koreas. He previously led the breaking news team in North Asia and was the deputy chief of the Tokyo bureau.

More stories like this are available at bloomberg.com/opinion

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Chula develops a sustainable food waste management model https://deborahjmiller.com/chula-develops-a-sustainable-food-waste-management-model/ Fri, 28 Oct 2022 12:55:00 +0000 https://deborahjmiller.com/chula-develops-a-sustainable-food-waste-management-model/ Sustainability is possible everywhere, even in the food we leave behind. Doctoral students and faculty members from Chulalongkorn University Graduate School’s (CUGS) Interdisciplinary Environmental Science Program participated in “Chula Sustainability Fest 2022” from September 2-4, 2022 at Chulalongkorn Centenary Park. Associate Professor Dr. Nuta Supakata, Deputy Program Director and Lecturer in the Department of Environmental […]]]>

Sustainability is possible everywhere, even in the food we leave behind. Doctoral students and faculty members from Chulalongkorn University Graduate School’s (CUGS) Interdisciplinary Environmental Science Program participated in “Chula Sustainability Fest 2022” from September 2-4, 2022 at Chulalongkorn Centenary Park. Associate Professor Dr. Nuta Supakata, Deputy Program Director and Lecturer in the Department of Environmental Sciences, Faculty of Science, presented the research results of the “Municipality of Nonthaburi or Nakhon non sustainable food waste management model”. During the event, Dr. Nuta presented a digital poster titled “Safety, health at work and working environment”.

Associate Professor Dr. Nuta Supakata

The Nakhon Non Model for Sustainable Food Waste Management is a project developed by doctoral students from Chulalongkorn University Graduate School’s (CUGS) Interdisciplinary Environmental Science Program and faculty members from the Department of Environmental Science. It aims to solve the food waste management problems of the municipality of Nonthaburi, which needs proper and systematic waste separation and management.

Currently, landfills are used, and this may continue for several years if no food waste management is put in place. In search of a more efficient and sustainable waste management solution, a collaboration between Chulalongkorn University, Nonthaburi Municipality and the Institute of Technology and Informatics for Sustainability (TIIS) has formed to develop and build a sustainable food waste management model for the municipality of Nonthaburi in the future.

The project is still ongoing and aims to help the municipality of Nonthaburi separate food waste for later use in an environmentally friendly way. After developing a sustainable food waste management model, valuable learnings expected by project team members include measures of economic value, people and community collaboration in some study areas, such as condominiums, reduction of waste in landfills and innovation development and use of applications for the management of food waste. Expectations are high for the project to be followed up and become a prototype for other agencies and municipalities in Thailand.

As the project can be linked to four of the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), it has received support from a research and innovation fund, the Zero Waste Project and the Garbage Group, for l fiscal year 2022, of the National Research Council of Thailand (NRC). The four Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) include zero hunger (SDG 2), sustainable cities and communities (SDG 11), responsible consumption and production (SDG 12) and climate action (SDG 13).

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