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SUSTAINABLE MARKETS INITIATIVE AGRIBUSINESS TASK FORCE LAUNCHES BLENDED FINANCE FRAMEWORK TO MAKE REGENERATIVE FARMING MAINSTREAM

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Please note this press release was published on December 2, 2023 on the Sustainable Markets Initiative’s website (http://www.sustainable-markets.org/news-archive)

Plan could unlock trillions of dollars for worldwide economy

  • Task force launches first-of-its-kind blended finance model to make regenerative farming financially viable for farmers; projects in India, the US and the UK explored to prove concept.
  • Lloyds Banking Group announces it will join growing cross-industry group, as former CEO of Mars, Grant Reid, calls for others to join.
  • Companies call for 10 policy changes which could help to unlock a projected $1.2 trillion that regenerative agriculture can add to the worldwide economy.

DUBAI, UAE, Dec. 9, 2023 /PRNewswire/ —  At COP 28, the Sustainable Markets Initiative’s Agribusiness Task Force announced the launch of a new blended finance framework that could unlock trillions of dollars for regenerative agriculture.

A task force of companies including Mars, McCain Foods, McDonald’s, Mondelez International, PepsiCo and Waitrose, unveil a plan to make regenerative farming financially viable and scalable; explore implementation projects in India, the UK and the US; welcome Lloyds Banking Group to boost cross-industry support, and call for policy changes to help support its implementation.

The global food system currently creates ~30% of human produced GHG emissions[1] and is the greatest driver to nature loss. Embracing regenerative farming globally could help provide a third of the land-based climate action needed by 2030[2], but as the Sustainable Markets Initiative Agribusiness Task Force found last year, the economics do not work for most farmers.

The Task Force including Bayer, Indigo Ag and Olam Agri, today outlines a four-lever framework to accelerate the scaling of regenerative farming, built on:

  • New funding and sourcing models;
  • Introduction of common metrics;
  • Suggested government policy changes; and
  • A plan to create new revenue streams for farmers.

New funding and sourcing models” is a first-of-its-kind blended finance model combining philanthropic support, catalytic capital from asset managers, commercial capital offered at preferential rates from banks, longer-term contract commitments from food businesses to source sustainable commodities, and crop insurance from insurance companies helping de-risk farming operations.

A “plan to create new revenue streams for farmers” proposes a way to create more revenue for farmers by allowing them to capture carbon credits during a field’s entire rotation, not just when it is in-use.

Titled the Ecosystem Services Market, the approach means when a field is farmed to supply a buyer, regenerative practices can help the buyer’s Scope 3 footprint; then during a year when the farmer is resting the field to recover soil health and biodiversity, the farmer can continue selling carbon credits to other buyers outside of their value chain.

Complementing solutions to make regenerative farming financially viable, are proposals to make it scalable. The Task Force suggests the “introduction of common metrics”, which would give regenerative farming a universally understood and scalable approach, and 10 “suggested government policy changes” which could help unlock $1.2 trillion that regenerative agriculture can add to the worldwide economy[3].

Policy recommendations include financial advice and training support to farmers implementing regenerative farming, and those carrying out Research and Development; promoting regenerative farming terms in trade agreements; and creating incentives for landowners to encourage regenerative techniques by tenants.

The Task Force reveals it is exploring at least four farming projects to prove its concept. These include rice in India, involving Bayer and Olam; canola and wheat projects in Poland, involving Mars, PepsiCo and ADM; wheat projects in the US, involving Mondelez and Indigo AG; and potatoes and other crops in the UK, involving McCain, McDonald’s, Waitrose, PepsiCo, HSBC, Lloyds Banking Group and NatWest.

Grant Reid, former CEO of Mars, Inc., and Chair of the Sustainable Markets Initiative’s Agribusiness Task Force said: 

“Taking farming back to its roots through regenerative practices isn’t a choice; it’s one of the only ways we can guarantee farming and global food supply chains can survive for generations to come.

“That’s why our plan, proving that regenerative farming could be economically viable, rewarding, and scalable, could be transformational to the world. But we need to prove it, which is why we’re eagerly putting into practice our theory by launching implementation projects across the world.  

“And while I’m so proud of the cross-industry group we’ve built to-date, with merely five harvests left until 2030, it needs to grow even more. That’s why I call upon those with influence, from food and finance leaders, to governments, NGOs, to join us in this transformative journey.”

The Task Force’s full plan, published in its report Scaling Regenerative Farming: Levers for Implementation, can be viewed on the Agribusiness Task Force webpage.

NOTES TO EDITORS

Task Force members

Chaired by Grant F. Reid, former CEO of Mars Incorporated, Task Force members include:

  • Bayer
  • HowGood
  • Indigo Ag
  • Lloyds Banking Group
  • Mars Incorporated
  • McCain Foods
  • McDonald’s
  • Mondelez International
  • Olam
  • PepsiCo
  • Sustainable Food Trust
  • Waitrose
  • Yara International

About the Sustainable Markets Initiative

Founded by His Majesty King Charles III in 2020, as Prince of Wales, the Sustainable Markets Initiative has become the world’s ‘go-to’ private sector organisation on transition. Launched in 2021, the Terra Carta serves as the Sustainable Markets Initiative’s mandate with a focus on accelerating positive results for Nature, People and Planet through real economy action. 

Read more: www.sustainable-markets.org

[1] UN Environment Programme; Our global food system is the primary driver of biodiversity loss

[2] Griscom, B., Adams, J., Ellis, P., et al. Natural Climate Solutions (2017). https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1710465114

[3] The Food and Land Use Coalition, Growing Better: Ten Critical Transitions to Transform Food & Land Use

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Sinotruk leaping forward to become world-class technology enterprise

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JINAN, China, March 2, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — On March 2, SinoTruk’s Science and Technology Innovation Award Annual Conference 2024 was grandly held, to recognize and rewarding major scientific and technological achievements and outstanding innovative talents since 2022, planning and deploying scientific and technological innovation work ahead. Tan Xuguang, Chairman and General Manager of Shandong Heavy Industry Group, Chairman of China National Heavy Duty Truck Group, attended the conference and delivered a report on scientific and technological innovative work – “Steadily stride forward, embracing change in science and technology”.

 

Over the past five years, Sinotruk has invested nearly RMB 15 billion in R&D, which is the sum of the previous 15 years. It has benchmarked against world-class standards and gradually established a full-process independent research and development system. Sinotruk technological strength has reached the forefront of the national industry. Sinotruk has reshaped the “Yellow River” heavy-duty trucks standard with technology, ranking first in China, and its high-tech indicators are leading the industry. The market share of heavy-duty trucks has increased from 16.5% in 2018 to 26% in 2023, ranking first in China for two consecutive years. In 2023, the export volume exceeded 130,000 vehicles for the very first time, a 2.6-fold increase compared to 5 years ago, making it the largest single-brand global export volume in the world.

Tan Xuguang called on all engineers to keep in mind their mission, be down-to-earth, persistent in innovation, and make long-term achievements through dedicated ten years of hard work. Learn from the global cooperation, grow and become talents through project training, and achieve through continuous value creation. Achieve your meaning in life, strive with vitality and passion while you are young. Let’s set off again for a better future for the century heavy truck industry and the world’s best heavy truck industry!

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Flash News: OKX Introduces Exclusive ‘Babylon Pioneer Pass Event’ in Collaboration with Babylon, Offering Free Pioneer Pass NFT Minting for the First 100,000 Users Who Stake on Babylon Testnet

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SINGAPORE, March 2, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — OKX, a leading Web3 technology company, has issued updates for March 2, 2024.

OKX Introduces Exclusive ‘Babylon Pioneer Pass Event’ in Collaboration with Babylon, Offering Free Pioneer Pass NFT Minting for the First 100,000 Users Who Stake on Babylon Testnet

OKX today announced the launch of its ‘Babylon Pioneer Pass Event,’ giving users who access the Babylon Testnet and stake any amount of Signet Bitcoin (sBTC) the opportunity to claim Babylon’s Bitcoin Pioneer Pass NFT. To qualify for a spot, users must access the Babylon Testnet and stake any amount of Signet Bitcoin (sBTC).

The event kicks off on February 28 and continues until March 6. Following the event, starting from March 7, participants who have been whitelisted will have the ability to mint their Bitcoin Pioneer Pass NFT using the OKX Wallet and their whitelisted address.

The process of participating in this event is straightforward and involves the following steps:

  1. Firstly, users will need to prepare by setting up their OKX and Keplr Wallets. These wallets will be crucial for interacting with the Babylon Testnet and the subsequent claiming of sBTC and BBN.
  2. Following the wallet setup, users can then claim the sBTC and BBN on Babylon’s Official Discord. These tokens will be needed for staking in the Babylon Testnet.
  3. Finally, users will need to access Babylon’s official website, where users can actively engage, stake their tokens and claim their whitelist spots.

Participation in the event offers a multitude of benefits. Users can engage actively with the Babylon Testnet, which in turn enhances their understanding of the Babylon protocol and its functionalities. Furthermore, participants contribute to the development and evolution of the Babylon protocol by being active users.

The ‘Babylon Pioneer Pass Event‘ is a result of OKX’s partnership with Babylon, a trustless Bitcoin staking protocol. The Bitcoin Pioneer Pass, Babylon’s first commemorative Non-Fungible Token (NFT), is a highlight of this event, representing a significant milestone for both OKX and Babylon.

For more information, please visit the OKX Support Center.

About OKX

A leading global technology company driving the future of Web3, OKX provides a comprehensive suite of products to meet the needs of beginners and experts alike, including:

  • OKX Wallet: The world’s most powerful, secure and versatile crypto wallet which gives users access to over 80 blockchains while allowing them to take custody of their own funds. The wallet includes MPC technology which allows users to easily recover access to their wallet independently, removing the need for traditional, ‘written down’ seed phrases. In addition, OKX Wallet’s account abstraction-powered Smart Account enables users to pay for transactions on multiple blockchains using USDC or USDT, and interact with multiple contracts via a single transaction.
  • DEX: A multi-chain, cross-chain decentralized exchange aggregator of 300+ other DEXs and approximately 15 bridges, with 200,000+ coins and more than 20 blockchains supported.
  • NFT Marketplace: A multi-chain, zero-fee NFT marketplace that gives users access to NFT listings across seven top-tier marketplaces including OpenSea, MagicEden, LooksRare and Blur.
  • Web3 DeFi: A powerful DeFi platform that supports earning and staking on about 70 protocols across more than 10 chains.

OKX partners with a number of the world’s top brands and athletes, including English Premier League champions Manchester City F.C., McLaren Formula 1, The Tribeca Festival, Olympian Scotty James, and F1 driver Daniel Ricciardo.

As a leader building innovative technology products, OKX believes in challenging the status quo. The company recently launched a global brand campaign entitled, The System Needs a Rewrite, which advocates for a new paradigm led by Web3 self-managed technology.

To learn more about OKX, download our app or visit: okx.com

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UnionPay International and The Tourism Organisation of Serbia Sign MOU to Enhance Tourist Payments and Promote Serbia as a Premier Destination

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BELGRADE, Serbia, March 1, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — UnionPay International, the leading global card scheme, has entering into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with The Tourism Organisation of Serbia (TOS). This strategic partnership aims to enhancing the payment experience for tourists and to further facilitate tourism growth in Serbia.

The MOU signing ceremony took place at Belgrade on 27th February 2024, marking the beginning of a collaborative effort between UnionPay International and TOS. The agreement outlines various areas of cooperation:

Jointly promoting Serbia as Travel Destination: Through optimised marketing resources, both parties aim to promote Serbia as tourist destination among UnionPay cardholders, with its rich cultural heritage and unique experiences, provide comprehensive tourism information and payment guides for the tourists visiting Serbia. UnionPay International aims to provide more diversified and convenient payment choices, and ensuring seamless payment experiences for travellers visiting the country.

Privileges and Benefits: The partnership will explore opportunities for preferential activities that bring additional benefits to UnionPay cardholders visiting Serbia. This approach aims to boost the attractiveness of the local tourism market and create a win-win situation for both parties.

Ms Bomee Sheng, Product Director of UnionPay International, expressed her enthusiasm about the collaboration, stating, “We are delighted to partner with The Tourism Organisation of Serbia to promote tourism and facilitate payment experiences in Serbia. Through this partnership, we aim to provide UnionPay cardholders with enhanced convenience and benefits, ultimately contributing to the growth of Serbia’s tourism industry.”

Ms Marija Labović, CEO of National Tourism Organisation of Serbia, commented, “This partnership with UnionPay International comes at an important time as we strive to become the most popular all year destination in the region.” She outlines Belgrade’s popularity and the diversity of attractions from city breaks to natural retreats and she is looking forward to the Expo 2027 in the capital, “By leveraging UnionPay’s global network and advanced payment solutions, we are confident that we can attract more visitors to Serbia and provide them with memorable experiences.”

In recent years, Serbia has emerged as one of the most attractive destinations for Chinese visitors. It is hailed as the “heart of the Balkans” and offers a unique blend of captivating landscapes and rich cultural heritage. Its visa-free entry policy, coupled with the exceptional acceptance coverage of UnionPay cards, has played a significant role in attracting Chinese tourists. With over 90% of local merchants and ATMs supporting UnionPay payments and withdrawals, travellers can enjoy seamless payment experiences across various sectors, including retail, dining, hotels, gas stations, toll stations, and tourist attractions.

About The Tourism Organisation of Serbia (TOS)

The Tourism Organisation of Serbia (TOS) was formed under the Law on Tourism of 1994 as the institution in charge of promoting Serbian tourism in domestic and foreign markets, as well as performing other duties relevant for the development of communication and advertising activities in Serbian tourism. The activities of TOS are focused on positioning Serbia’s tourism products in domestic and foreign markets and exploring Serbia’s comparative advantages in terms of tourism, including its geostrategic position and its historical, cultural and natural identity.

About UnionPay International

UnionPay International focuses on the international business of UnionPay, a global payment network that serves the world’s largest cardholder base. Collaborating with over 2,600 partners globally, UnionPay acceptance now reached to 183 countries and regions. Outside the Chinese Mainland, UnionPay is accepted at nearly 67 million merchants and 1.7 million ATMs.

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