With nearly 800 million urban consumers, the topic of food sustainability has been a great concern for many as the middle class have high quality standards. In China, r food security, affordability and safety are at their peak, the opportunities entrepreneurs and innovators to deliver innovations in product and process are growing by the day.
To better understand the challenges, and the opportunities for entrepreneurs and innovators to deliver solutions to the market, Collective Responsibility invited Jenny NG, Executive Director of Green Common, Elaine Siu, Managing Director from Asia Pacific at The Good Food Institute (GFI), and Eric Sun, Co-Founder at CVI Civic Intelligence to speak at our “Future of Food Sustainability in China” forum to share their experience with the attendees.
Building Asia’s Plant Based Empire
To start the panel, Jenny Ng spoke about the work that Green Monday & Green Common to build one of Asia’s leading Vegan franchises. Starting from a single store, over the last few years, they have expanded into nine stores, spearheaded Beyond Meat’s Asia expansion, and launched OMN!PORK, their own pork substitute.
It is an effort that has come off a relentless commitment to developing awareness and access, at was fortunate to align with the wider health and wellness trends in Asia, and while they have their own plans to expand in Singapore, Thailand, and Japan, they are also becoming a platform for many other brands to expand into the market as well.
Supporting Entrepreneurs and Innovators
Following Jenny’s presentation, Elaine Siu (Managing Director of the Good Food Institute) spoke about the work that they are doing to move the world away from animal based proteins by 2030.
An organization whose founding team members were all considered “passionate advocates”, GFI has grown from a team of 3 to more than 75 in the past 4 years. Focused on support both plant-based and cell-based brands, they have supported more then 25 food startups, and are regularly engaged with big brands like Purdue to help support their own interests and investments into the space.
For GFI, this is an exciting time as the recent Beyond Meat IPO has brought a lot of attention to the industry, and many traditional players are shifting their portfolios in meaningful ways as a result.
GFI is a great example for where passion, and a new business model, can bring about a disruptive change.
Awareness and Education in Future of food sustainability
For Eric Sun, a (former) founding member of Bits & Bites, through YEAST and CVI, he has not only seen the wide range of opportunities that exist to make improvements to our food & agricultural systems, but also the challenges that entrepreneurs face when commercializing their solutions.
As one of the world’s fastest growing markets for food, and one of the most innovative, where Eric sees the greatest opportunities to drive better decisions (by all) is through data.
Data empowers a food service operator, a retailer, a city planner or an urban design enthusiast to see from a new vantage point. CVI analysis from the city, to the neighborhood and down to the streets, hopefully has demonstrated how unique insights could emerge from this approach.
At the end, strategic decisions involve multitudes of variables, both objective and subjective ones. The role of location intelligence is not meant to substitute but to augment decision-making by management teams with data-informed insights.
The Future Looks Bright!
Following the panel presentations, an active Q&A took place where a wide range of topics were discussed, and all the three speakers discussed about different challenges in their own business and experiences.
Challenges that each believe are better understood, as more attention comes to this issue, however a lot more needs to be done before the solutions can match the government policy, the human resources, and the awareness of people sustainability.
If interested in learning more, we invite you to click here to view the event video in full, and should you have any questions, feel free to contact us and we will be happy to put you in touch with the speakers.