Selected Important News of the past weeks (Part 9 end)

Swiss Targeted Imports and Less Food Waste Reduce ‘Foodprint’

How can the environmental impact of our food be reduced? Agroscope calculated that the environmental impact can be improved if food is imported from countries of origin with especially environmentally friendly agricultural production systems. The avoidance of food loss and waste is even more effective in achieving this aim.

Food imports have a significant influence on the environment. If the Swiss agricultural sector reduces its production whilst consumption remains the same, resulting in the need for more imports, environmental impacts increase overall. This is because the improved environmental impacts within Switzerland often lead to more negative ones in the countries of origin of the imports. This is especially true if the production conditions are less favourable in other countries than in Switzerland, for example owing to water scarcity or deforestation.

Two measures for improvement analysed

There are, however, ways to reduce undesirable environmental impacts of the Swiss basket of agricultural products. Agroscope researchers studied two measures in greater depth: firstly, the choice of specific countries of origin for the imports where agricultural production is especially environmentally friendly, and secondly, the avoidance of food loss and waste along the value chain up to the consumer, which leads to fewer imports.

In addition to a review of the literature, the researchers used two scenarios to calculate the extent to which these two measures influenced environmental impacts. The first scenario extrapolates the current Proof of Ecological Performance (PEP) and the Direct Payment system up to 2025. The second models a more extensive Swiss agricultural system with lower production, in which pesticide use is largely dispensed with and livestock numbers are lower than at present. In both scenarios, the least-favourable 25% of import products are replaced by alternatives from other countries of origin, and food loss and waste is minimised.

Geographic factors and legislation matter for imports

The study confirms that both measures have a positive effect on food-related environmental impacts, but that they differ in terms of their effectiveness. Optimisations in the countries of origin of the imports have a positive effect on location-dependent environmental impacts in particular. Geographic factors such as water availability and the extent to which biodiversity is threatened are especially important. Depending on the scenario, impacts can be reduced by 16 to 27% here. For other environmental impacts and especially for foods of animal origin, this measure has a lower impact. The environmental-friendliness of a country of origin of imports is also determined by its legislation, which regulates inter alia which plant-protection products may be used.

No downsides to less food waste

By contrast, the avoidance of food loss and waste always has a positive effect, reducing the environmental impacts of the Swiss basket of agricultural products by 11 to 38 %, and even up to 87 % in the case of deforestation, without undesirable side-effects. Less food waste in animal-based foods reduces environmental impacts more markedly than less food waste in plant-based foods. Consumer behaviour also influences the environmental impacts of our food.

Policies and consumers can make a positive difference

In addition, the Agroscope study shows that even when both measures are implemented, an extensive agricultural system with lower domestic production exacerbates most of the environmental impacts of Swiss food. It also shows that possible improvements depend strongly on the policy framework as well as on consumer behaviour. The avoidance of food waste, for example, is possible along the entire value chain: each and every one of us can contribute here.

Summary of the study

Influence of Countries of Origin of Imports and Food Waste on the Environmental Impacts of the Swiss Agricultural SectorAgroscope has shown in various studies that imported products have a major effect on the environmental impacts of the Swiss basket of agricultural products. This effect depends on the degree of Swiss self-sufficiency, and becomes especially apparent when the Swiss agricultural sector produces less whilst consumption remains the same, requiring the  importation  of  more  foods.  Lower negative  environmental  impacts  within  Switzerland  often  lead  to  significant  trade-offs in the countries of origin of imports. There are a series of starting points with a leverage effect which reduce such  undesirable  trade-offs  as  well  as  the  negative  environmental  impacts  of  the  Swiss  basket  of  products.  This  study examines two such levers in greater detail: 1.    The influence of the choice of countries of origin of imports on the environmental impacts of the Swiss basket of agricultural products;2.    The influence of avoiding food waste on the environmental impacts of the Swiss basket of agricultural products.In  a  literature  review,  we  investigated  the  influence  of  imports  and  their  countries  of  origin  on  the  environmental  impact of food, and how great the potential is for minimising environmental impacts by reducing food waste. Based on two scenarios from Schmidt et al. (2019) and Bystricky et al. (2020), we also calculated the extent to which the environmental impacts of the Swiss basket of agricultural products change when the least-favourable 25% of import products are replaced by alternatives from other countries of origin, or when food waste is minimised.  One scenario extrapolates the current PEP (Proof of Ecological Performance) and the Direct Payments system up to 2025,  whilst a  second  scenario  models  a  more  extensive  Swiss  agricultural  system  with  lower  production  levels,  in  which  pesticides  are  largely  forgone  and  livestock  numbers  are  reduced  (corresponding  to  the  reference  scenario  and  scenario S05 of Schmidt et al., 2019).The results confirm the leverage effect of the strategies ‘choice of countries of origin of imports’ and ‘avoidance of food waste’, although it is also apparent that the effectiveness of the two levers differs:   The choice of countries of origin of imports affects selected location-dependent environmental impacts in particular. Geographic factors such as water availability and the threat to biodiversity as well as the legislation of the respective countries  of  origin  are  particularly  important:  among  others,  the  latter  determines  the  choice  of  plant-protection products  used.  With  other  environmental  impacts  and  with  products  whose  impact  depends  heavily  on  the  production system, this lever is less effective and varies significantly. This is particularly true for foods of animal origin,  for  which  the  production  system  and  production  intensity  play  an  important  role.  The  dominant  type  of  production in a country is not solely determined by geographic factors, and may change over time.     The avoidance of food waste is a universally effective priority measure. It reduces all the environmental impacts of the Swiss basket of agricultural products without any undesirable side-effects. The avoidance of waste in animal-based foods reduces environmental impacts more dramatically than does the avoidance of waste in plant-based foods. It has also been shown that avoiding food waste at the end of the value chain has a higher savings potential than at the beginning, since the environmental impacts accumulate along the chain.  Despite these levers, however, an increase in food imports, e.g. owing to a decline in domestic production, would lead to a worsening of most of the environmental impacts investigated.

www.agroscope.admin.ch

Webinars

What's New in Exporting Exporting Mechanics Webinar Series III  The NCBFAA Educational Institute (NEI) has partnered with the U.S. Commercial Service, the export promotion arm of the U.S. Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration, to present a third exporting mechanics webinar series focused on advanced topics.  The series will provide U.S. small and medium size businesses with more advanced exporting information that they need to help them increase exports abroad, while increasing employment and jobs in the United States. Each webinar will be worth 1 CES credit (unless otherwise noted).  The content for all topics will last within an hour, but sometimes, the question and answers session last beyond the hour based on the number of participants on the webinar. If needed, credit will be given based on participation for the hour (i.e., 1.5 credits versus 1 credit).  Please view the schedule of webinars below; registration is open now for all six webinars in the series. Individual webinar eBlasts with additional details will be sent out as the events get closer. Webinar login information will be sent 1-2 business days before the webinar and again the morning of the event. For questions about the series please email nei@ncbfaa.org.     

For more information, go to NCBFAA

WIPO Webinar – Overview of WIPO and its Activities – with a focus on the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) – 25 March 2021

The next Overview of WIPO webinar: This month we are focusing on the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT).  Taking place on Thursday, March 25, 2021, at 14:00 (CET) the webinar is an opportunity to learn about the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT), outlining its client-facing services and role within WIPO.

The one-hour webinar is free of charge and will be held in English.  The webinar will be useful for those interested in patents and who are interested in learning more about the international patent system.

Online registration is necessary and can be had here https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/3494736549264423440

Unable to attend?

If you cannot attend the webinar on March 25, 2021, you can register and you will receive a recording of the webinar after the session. 

www.wipo.org

Baldwin hosts free webinar on how to improve safety, automation and productivity in film extrusion

Plastic film extruders invited to learn about innovations in surface cleaning and treatment technologies.

Baldwin hosts free webinar on how to improve safety, automation and productivity in film extrusion
Plastic film extruders invited to learn about innovations in surface cleaning and treatment technologies

Baldwin hosts free webinar on how to improve safety, automation and productivity in film extrusion

Plastic film extruders invited to learn about innovations in surface cleaning and treatment technologies

Baldwin Technology Company Inc. invites plastic film extruders to a free webinar on how to improve safety, automation and productivity in cast film extrusion, plastic sheet extrusion and blown film extrusion. The one-hour live educational session is offered twice on March 23, and registration is free: Baldwin Technology Company Inc. invites plastic film extruders to a free webinar on how to improve

safety, automation and productivity in cast film extrusion, plastic sheet extrusion and blown film extrusion. The one-hour live educational

session is offered twice on March 23, and registration is free: March 23 at 6 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time (US) / 11 a.m. Central European Time (Europe) / 6 p.m. China Standard Time (Asia) and March 23 at 11 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time (US) / 4 p.m. Central European Time

(Europe) / 11 p.m. China Standard Time (Asia). Those who cannot attend live, but who have registered, will receive a recording of the webinar afterward.

Extruders seeking to increase safety and eliminate the 30-to-60 minute process of manually cleaning chill rolls will have the opportunity to learn more about Baldwin’s automated FilmCylinderCleaner. This proven, highly efficient system cleans cast and chill rolls in minutes during operation, maximizing uptime, while enhancing film quality and saving material costs.

“Until now, surface cleaning has been a manual process. Besides the difficulties in accessing the chill rolls, manual cleaning also is uneven and hazardous,” said Matthias Knoch, Sales Director of Industrial Applications at Baldwin. “With our innovative FilmCylinderCleaner, extruders get a smart, automated cleaning system, so they can clean ‘on the go’ with consistent quality, gaining up to 250 extra production hours per year.”

Additional innovation topics include the highly energy efficient corona surface treatment systems from Ahlbrandt, a Baldwin company, as well as Ahlbrandt’s non-contact rotor spray systems.. The innovatively designed corona surface treatment technology features top-performing, easily accessed electrodes, ensuring maximum efficiency and surface tension. Ahlbrandt’s rotor spray systems save both chemistry and energy consumption, while providing an even and precise coating with long-term anti-fog properties and release for demolding thermoformed parts.

“Surface treatment is not an option in film extrusion—it is a requirement for downstream converting of polypropylene (PP) and polyethylene (PE) film in printing, laminating and anti-fog coating processes,” said Alexander Rau, Product Manager at Ahlbrandt. “With our technology breakthroughs in corona and rotor spray technologies, extruders will experience increased productivity and decreased downtime.”

Baldwin Technology Company Inc. is a leading global manufacturer and supplier of innovative process-automation equipment, parts, service and consumables for the printing, packaging, textile, plastic film extrusion and corrugated industries. As a total solutions provider, Baldwin offers our customers a broad range of market-leading technologies, with a focus on improving the economic and environmental efficiency of production processes. Through a global footprint of 21 company-owned locations and an extensive network of partners, our customers are supported globally, regionally and locally by dedicated sales and service team members who add value by forming long-term relationships. Baldwin is privately owned by BW Forsyth Partners, a engineering consulting firm Barry-Wehmiller company. For more, visit www.baldwintech.com

BW Forsyth Partners is the investment arm of multibillion-dollar global manufacturing and engineering consulting firm Barry-Wehmiller. Established in 2009, BW Forsyth Partners blends Barry-Wehmiller’s unparalleled legacy of value creation and people-centric culture development with keen investing experience to help companies realize their true potential. With a focus limited to areas known well, BW Forsyth Partners seeks to partner with leadership teams to acquire small- to middle-market companies in the capital and component equipment, and professional services sectors. In each of our operating companies, BW Forsyth Partners deploys operational improvements and strategy development without compromising the autonomy, strategic vision and entrepreneurial spirit of their leadership teams. For more information, visit www.bwforsyth.com

Worth Reading

Nestlé publishes 2020 Annual Report, spotlights sustainability at the Annual General Meeting

Nestlé on March 16, 2021, published its 2020 Annual Report. The report highlights the company’s financial and non-financial performance for the year and gives an update on strategy, innovation, digitalization and sustainability.

Nestlé has also sent the Annual General Meeting (AGM) invitation and agenda to shareholders.

2020 Annual Report

Despite the challenges of COVID-19 in 2020, Nestlé delivered strong results, achieving improvements in organic sales growth, profitability and capital efficiency for the third year in a row. Nestlé also continued to make progress on its portfolio transformation through targeted acquisitions and divestments that focus on attractive, high-growth businesses.

A key contributor to Nestlé’s growth is its consumer-driven innovation that also strives to reduce the company’s environmental footprint. Some examples highlighted in the report include the launch of Sensational Vuna, a plant-based tuna alternative, and the increased use of paper packaging for brands such as Maggi. The company further reduced the average time to market of such innovative products by another 10% and increased the number of multi-market launches by 23%.

Nestlé’s continued digital transformation enabled it to accelerate growth and better engage with consumers in a year that saw a surge in online shopping. Nestlé’s e-commerce sales grew by 48.4% and accounted for 12.8% of total Group sales in 2020. Additionally, more than 60% of all of the company’s digital media campaigns used a data-driven, audience-first approach to personalize messaging to consumers.

In the Creating Shared Value (CSV) section of the report, Nestlé highlights that it has fully achieved 28 of the 36 commitments it had previously defined to support the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. Those commitments focus on promoting healthier lives, improving livelihoods and protecting and restoring the environment. The full CSV and Sustainability Report will be published on March 23.

The full Annual Report contains Nestlé’s Annual Review as well as the Corporate Governance & Compensation Reports and the Financial Statements, which were published on February 18, 2021.

Read about these topics and more in the Annual Report

Annual General Meeting and Sustainability

In addition to the traditional AGM agenda items, Nestlé will ask its shareholders to support its recently published climate roadmap in an advisory vote at this year’s meeting. In December 2020, the company published its detailed, time-bound plan for cutting greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in half by 2030 and for achieving net zero emissions by 2050. The reporting of non-financial performance is becoming increasingly important, and, , as previously announced, the company believes that shareholders should have a say on Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) matters. Nestlé welcomes upcoming changes to Swiss legislation in this area. In the interim, the Board of Directors is seeking the support from shareholders on its climate roadmap.

Each year at the AGM, shareholders have the opportunity to vote on the total compensation of Nestlé’s Board of Directors and Executive Board. This year, Nestlé is changing the structure of Executive Board members’ short-term bonus. Fifteen percent of that bonus will now be linked to the achievement of ESG-related objectives. The Nestlé Board of Directors sets those objectives at the beginning of each year, in line with the company’s strategy.

As already communicated, Nestlé is also splitting the existing Nomination and Sustainability Committee into a separate Nomination Committee and a focused Sustainability Committee. This reflects the importance of sustainability in Nestlé’s corporate governance and allows Board members to dedicate more time, focus and action on each of these important topics.

Ahead of the upcoming AGM on April 15, Nestlé will also publish its first Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) Report. The TCFD report assesses the strength and resilience of the company’s strategy and business model under different climate scenarios.

Read the:

www.nestle.com

WTO DG Okonjo-Iweala makes official visit to Nigeria

Director-General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala is in Nigeria for her first official trip since taking office at the beginning of March. During her three-day working visit, she is meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari, Industry, Trade and Investment Minister Otunba Richard Adeniyi Adebayo and other members of the Nigerian government. DG Okonjo-Iweala will also meet public health officials dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, women entrepreneurs, and representatives from industry groups and micro, small and medium-sized enterprises.

During the meetings, the Director-General will discuss her ongoing efforts in Geneva to help WTO members deliver concrete results, on issues including fisheries subsidies and accelerating COVID-19 vaccine production, in the months leading up to the 12th Ministerial Conference later this year. She will listen to government officials, entrepreneurs and other stakeholders about their experiences, needs and concerns with the trading environment within Africa and around the world. She will also describe what trade and the WTO can do to help the Nigerian economy grow and diversify.

Upon her arrival in Abuja on 13 March, the Director-General was met by Dr Nasir Sani-Gwarzo, the Permanent Secretary, and other officials of the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment.

www.wto.org

more effective in achieving this aim.

No downsides to less food waste

By contrast, the avoidance of food loss and waste always has a positive effect, reducing the environmental impacts of the Swiss basket of agricultural products by 11 to 38 %, and even up to 87 % in the case of deforestation, without undesirable side-effects. Less food waste in animal-based foods reduces environmental impacts more markedly than less food waste in plant-based foods. Consumer behaviour also influences the environmental impacts of our food.

Policies and consumers can make a positive difference

In addition, the Agroscope study shows that even when both measures are implemented, an extensive agricultural system with lower domestic production exacerbates most of the environmental impacts of Swiss food. It also shows that possible improvements depend strongly on the policy framework as well as on consumer behaviour. The avoidance of food waste, for example, is possible along the entire value chain: each and every one of us can contribute here.

Summary of the study

Influence of Countries of Origin of Imports and Food Waste on the Environmental Impacts of the Swiss Agricultural SectorAgroscope has shown in various studies that imported products have a major effect on the environmental impacts of the Swiss basket of agricultural products. This effect depends on the degree of Swiss self-sufficiency, and becomes especially apparent when the Swiss agricultural sector produces less whilst consumption remains the same, requiring the  importation  of  more  foods.  Lower negative  environmental  impacts  within  Switzerland  often  lead  to  significant  trade-offs in the countries of origin of imports. There are a series of starting points with a leverage effect which reduce such  undesirable  trade-offs  as  well  as  the  negative  environmental  impacts  of  the  Swiss  basket  of  products.  This  study examines two such levers in greater detail: 1.    The influence of the choice of countries of origin of imports on the environmental impacts of the Swiss basket of agricultural products;2.    The influence of avoiding food waste on the environmental impacts of the Swiss basket of agricultural products.In  a  literature  review,  we  investigated  the  influence  of  imports  and  their  countries  of  origin  on  the  environmental  impact of food, and how great the potential is for minimising environmental impacts by reducing food waste. Based on two scenarios from Schmidt et al. (2019) and Bystricky et al. (2020), we also calculated the extent to which the environmental impacts of the Swiss basket of agricultural products change when the least-favourable 25% of import products are replaced by alternatives from other countries of origin, or when food waste is minimised.  One scenario extrapolates the current PEP (Proof of Ecological Performance) and the Direct Payments system up to 2025,  whilst a  second  scenario  models  a  more  extensive  Swiss  agricultural  system  with  lower  production  levels,  in  which  pesticides  are  largely  forgone  and  livestock  numbers  are  reduced  (corresponding  to  the  reference  scenario  and  scenario S05 of Schmidt et al., 2019).The results confirm the leverage effect of the strategies ‘choice of countries of origin of imports’ and ‘avoidance of food waste’, although it is also apparent that the effectiveness of the two levers differs:   The choice of countries of origin of imports affects selected location-dependent environmental impacts in particular. Geographic factors such as water availability and the threat to biodiversity as well as the legislation of the respective countries  of  origin  are  particularly  important:  among  others,  the  latter  determines  the  choice  of  plant-protection products  used.  With  other  environmental  impacts  and  with  products  whose  impact  depends  heavily  on  the  production system, this lever is less effective and varies significantly. This is particularly true for foods of animal origin,  for  which  the  production  system  and  production  intensity  play  an  important  role.  The  dominant  type  of  production in a country is not solely determined by geographic factors, and may change over time.     The avoidance of food waste is a universally effective priority measure. It reduces all the environmental impacts of the Swiss basket of agricultural products without any undesirable side-effects. The avoidance of waste in animal-based foods reduces environmental impacts more dramatically than does the avoidance of waste in plant-based foods. It has also been shown that avoiding food waste at the end of the value chain has a higher savings potential than at the beginning, since the environmental impacts accumulate along the chain.  Despite these levers, however, an increase in food imports, e.g. owing to a decline in domestic production, would lead to a worsening of most of the environmental impacts investigated.

www.agroscope.admin.ch

Webinars

WIPO Webinar – Overview of WIPO and its Activities – with a focus on the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) – 25 March 2021

The next Overview of WIPO webinar: This month we are focusing on the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT).  Taking place on Thursday, March 25, 2021, at 14:00 (CET) the webinar is an opportunity to learn about the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT), outlining its client-facing services and role within WIPO.

The one-hour webinar is free of charge and will be held in English.  The webinar will be useful for those interested in patents and who are interested in learning more about the international patent system.

Online registration is necessary and can be had here:

Unable to attend?

If you cannot attend the webinar on March 25, 2021, you can register and you will receive a recording of the webinar after the session. 

www.wipo.org