About the speakers & Mediation:
Mediator: Cassia Moraes, Youth Climate Leaders (YCL)
Felipe Villela, Founder & CEO of Renature Regenerative Agroforestry
Gustavo Bottino, SOIL - Vegan Café,
Sara Roversi, Future Food Institute (FFI),
Shweta Sood, 50by40,
Stephen Michael, WTH Foods
LESSON: There is a deep relation between food and climate: our current agriculture model is responsible for 25% of the greenhouse gas emissions while at the same time, putting our food system at risk. It is crucial to make a shift to change our food systems, by drastically reduce our meat and diary consumption and moving towards a plant-based diet. This is possible through technology, entrepreneurship and innovation in agriculture, such as agroforestry for example.
The first speaker was Shweta Sood, Comms Manager for 50by40, a coalition of organisations dedicated to cutting the global production and consumption of animal products by 50% by 2040. Her career was motivated by advocating for animal rights, where she campaigned for ending animal suffering in the food system. Shweta shared an impressive panorama of our Food system to show how it is currently making people sick and at the same time harming the environment. The world currently has 800 million suffering from chronic hunger, 1.9 billion people are overweight. The emissions in food and agriculture is heavily related to the meat and dairy industry. The 5 biggest meat and dairy companies (JBS, Tyson Foods, Cargill, Dairy Farmers of America, Fonterra) could surpass Exxon, Shell and BP as the world's biggest climate polluters within the next few decades, as presented in this report released in 2018 by the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP) and the nonprofit GRAIN.
Furthermore, only six meat and diary companies have targets that include supply chain emissions, yet these emissions can account for up to 90% of total emissions. To avert climate catastrophe, we must reduce production and consumption of meat and dairy in overproducing and overconsuming countries and in affluent populations globally, while supporting a transition to agroecology. This could not only drastically reduce our emissions but also create many job opportunities. Shweta presented the report issued in July 2020 by the International Labour Organization (ILO), that stated that a shift to plant-based Diets would create 19 Million jobs In Latin America & the Caribbean.
The following speaker was Sara Roversi, founder of Future Food Institute, Italian-based non-profit with global horizons that aims to build a more equitable world through enlightening a world-class breed of innovators, boosting entrepreneurial potential and improving agri-food expertise and tradition. She brought her vision of food as a language for human connections, cultural traditions and affection. But such language is endangered due to our lack of connection with food, mostly due to a broken system that is failing in providing good and nutritious food, the increase of processed food, the distances between farms and cities growing further due to heavily dense urban settlements. This problem settling was the base to create a pathway to lead the transformation through an entrepreneur's eye, that is described below:
The plan's base aims to create an ecosystem that embraces innovation, education, partnerships between different sectors of society (government, NGO's, civil society, scientist community etc), and reinventing new KPIs for business, that takes in consideration the planet boundaries. To close, Sara stated that everyone can and must be part of the transition to a decarbonized society and become a climate professional. She invited all the participants to pay closer attention to the impact of your work in the planet, because you have a powerful tool to make transformations, and one of them is your professional career.
The following speaker was Stephen Michael, founder of WTH Foods, a plant-based meat alternative protein startup using local ingredients, all the way from the Philippines. They believe that plant-based foods are key to a future that’s more food-secure and environmentally responsible. However, many animal-derived meat remains an important and vital part of our diet. WTH Foods aims to provide meal options that allow people to continue having scrumptious meals that are much kinder to the planet. As a young entrepreneur, Stephen stated that it is the time for young people to be bold and take the changes for granted and be courageous to kick off their ideas in the world. He closed stating that his biggest challenge in entrepreneurship in the low-carbon economy is networking - it is important to find ways to connect with people, and overcome the complexity of working with different people.
The following speaker was Gustavo Bottino, brazilian-passionate amateur cook, husband, dad and also entrepreneur. He is the co-Founder & Managing Director of SOIL - Vegan Café, a hospitality company based in Amsterdam with a focus on creating delicious plant-based food for a better future. He mentioned the importance of collaboration in the work in this transition to a plant-based movement, from production to distribution. For the restaurant perspective, though, there is a lot of work on this change, as we need to prepare staff to learn how to prepare and cook these new ingredients and meals, the clients are still resistant in trying plant-based meals in a large scale. Mostly, we need more people working and using technology to come up with new solutions to replace meat without giving up taste and appearance.
The last speaker was Felipe Vilela, Brazilian impact entrepreneur based in Amsterdam. After visiting the Amazon Rainforest and seeing how much deforestation is taking place due to agricultural commodities for industries and how that impacts communities & smallholders living there he decided to dedicate his entire life to change the way we produce our agri commodities worldwide. Together with his business partner, Marco de Boer, he founded reNature, a Dutch Foundation & Company that aims at regenerating 1 million hectares of land worldwide through Regenerative Agroforestry while ensuring food security for 10M farmers & local communities by 2030. reNature develops model farms & model schools for corporations and organizations seeking transition towards regenerative agriculture at scale. He also brought the scaring info, that today's conventional agriculture is threatening our food security - it accounts for 25% of of global GHG emissions and also is the root cause of 80% of tropical deforestation. Among the main reasons, conventional agriculture lies in monoculture and deforestation. Agroforestry can tackle climate change and sequester carbon, preserve biodiversity, provide decent jobs to farmers and improve local economy, based in the care 5 principles of regenerative agroforestry:
To close his talk, Felipe said that there are a lot of investors that come to ask him what are the risks of investing in agroforestry. His answer for them are: what are the risks of not doing it? Agroforestry may have a lower return of investment, but in the long term, as the soil remains more fertile than the conventional agriculture, overall gives more return of financial profit while preserves nature and sequestrate carbon. To close, he invited participants to register in one of the agriculture schools, to take a look on the soil itself and give you insights in how to increase your positive impact in the world through agroforestry - they have projects needing support in Brazil, Indonesia, and other parts of the world.
See the record of the talk below:
About the Day of the Climate Professional:
The Day of the Climate Professional (DCP), celebrated on November 24, is an annual date to celebrate and catalyse the professionals accelerating solutions to the climate crisis. The 2020 inaugural edition was marked by an all-day virtual summit—networking activities, workshops, keynote presentations, interactive Q&As, and more—fostering reflections and actions on the interdisciplinary of climate change, its urgency, and the importance of working to tackle it through varied professions and sectors of society. Learn More.